Intestinal contents were collected from eight impala at three different localities during the
winter hunting season (2005–2009), as well as from another 24 animals from a one-year trial
at a game farm called Ditholo (2003–2004). Gas production, protozoa counts and several other
physiological parameters were measured from both rumen and caecum or colon contents.
Only higher ophryoscolecid and Isotrichidae species of protozoa were counted and identified.
Ostracodinium gracile was present in all 32 impala. Eudiplodinium maggii was present in 31
animals and Eudiplodinium impalae and Epidinium (either ecaudatum or caudatum) in 30 animals.
Dasytricha ruminantium was present in only 11 of the impala. Concentrations of protozoa were
correlated with the season of sample collection and highly correlated with the animals living
on the game farm. Gas production (mL/g of wet rumen ingesta) was weakly correlated with
protozoa concentration but not with the season of collection.