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Study English: ESL Intermediate Story

Read this story and practice with reading comprehension questions. Click here to practice vocabulary.

The Klipspringer


1. This small animal is called a Klipspringer. It  lives in scenic mountainous regions in Africa. Its name was originally "cliffspringer." It was named by the Dutch Settlers who were impressed by the way it leaps from one rock to another.

2. The klipspringer is peculiar because it stands on its toes, like a dancer. Its hooves are like rubber. They serve as a cushion for the feet while the animal leaps across rocky regions. A klipspringer is very agile. It can land in crevices of rock just big enough for its hooves.

3. The klipspring is an antelope. There are many different kinds of antelope. They live in Africa and parts of Asia. Some are small and graceful while others are huge! An antelope is defined by its horns. All species of antelope have horns, though in some species the females do not have them. Members of the antelope family have their horns for life, and the horns are hollow. This is how they are distiguished from deer. Deer lose their antlers every year and grow new ones.

4. Antelopes are herbivores. They live in places where grass and other plants are plentiful. Most antelopes are fast runners and have sleek fur. There is one species, though, called the eland, which looks more like an ox. An eland can weigh 2,000 lbs.


Answer the questions:

1. Why is this animal called a klipspringer?

A. It klips about at a fast pace.

B. The Dutch had never seen this animal before.

C. It was named "cliffspringer" and the name changed a little over time.

D. No one knows why.

2. Where do klipspringers live?

A. In Africa and Asia.

B. In Africa.

C. In America.

D. All of the above.


3.  What is the difference between deer and antelope?

A. Deer live in America, but antelope live in Africa.

B. Deer lose their antlers, but antelope keep their horns for life.

C. Deer keep their antlers for life, but antelope lose their horns every year.

D. Deer are not different: they are a kind of antelope.


4. What makes the klipspringer different from other antelope?

A. A klipspringer is an herbivore.

B. The klipspringer keeps its horns for life.

C. It is smaller than all other antelope.

D. It is especially good at leaping around rocky places.


5. Match the words to their definitions.

scenic                         a. unusual
           peculiar                      b. good at moving
                                   agile                           c. to make different than another
                     distinguish                 d. having pleasant views
          plentiful                      e many, abundant

(answers below)

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answers: 1.  c, 2. b, 3. b, 4. d, 5. scenic: d, peculiar: a, agile: b, distinguish: c, plentiful: e