Wildebeest

© Shem Compion

Wildbeest Appearance

The Wildebeest is characterised by the long black mane running down its neck and a beard of black hair that hangs from the throat region. Their silver-grey coats also have dark stripes that run down the its body.

Both male and female Wildebeest grow horns, with males carrying a heavier boss. Bulls weigh 250 kg and measures 1.5 m at the shoulders. Cows are slightly smaller, measuring 1.4 m at the shoulder and with a mass of 180 kg.

Wildebeest Breeding

The Wildebeest are seasonal breeders, with calves being born during the summer in South Africa. The gestation period is nine months long, after which a single calf is born. Calves are able to walk and even run within minutes after being born.

Wildebeest Behaviour

The wildebeest is gregarious in nature and live in herds of little as ten to thousands of individuals. Seasonal migration forms an integral part of the wildebeest’s survival strategy where there are distinctive wet and dry seasons as they move into areas with sufficient grass to feed the herds. Bulls are territorial in South Africa where the herds are sedentary.

Where they are Found

The populations of wildebeest have decreased due to the limitations imposed on their natural migration routes through Africa by fencing. They are not considered endangered, but they mainly inhabit conservation areas in South Africa. They are more concentrated in the North-Eastern region of South Africa and countries further North.