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I Dream Africa

I Dream Africa

Blue Wildebeest


Introduction: Both sexes grow short curved horns. In adult bulls the horns are heavily bossed. Seasonal migration was an optimised survival strategy which allowed the effective use of resources over larger areas and which minimised over-utilisation, both during wet and dry seasons. The Blue Wildebeest is a gregarious herbivore, occurring in herds ranging from ten to a few thousand individuals. Bulls maintain territories when the herd is sedentary.

Distribution: Distribution is concentrated to the north-eastern regions of South Africa. Not regarded as endangered, but mostly found in conservation areas. Also widely distributed in countries north of South Africa. Population numbers are drastically reduced due to fencing, which restricts traditional and instinctive migration. In Namibia wildebeest are commonly found in the Etosha National Park and on several privately owned game farms.

Diet: They are primarily a grazer, in order of preference selecting for predominantly grass, and occasionally karroid shrubs and herbs.

Coloring: The dark silver-grey body is marked with dark vertical bands on the front quarters. Blue wildebeest are characterised by a long black mane and a beard of hair hanging from the throat and neck.

Breeding: Blue Wildebeest are seasonal breeders. Births of single calves per cow occur during summer after a gestation period of nine months. Calves can run with the herd within minutes after birth.

Size: 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.

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