Greetings friends and welcome to the world of the wildebeest. This native of Africa can be found in the southern half of Africa and is also referred to as a gnu. The wildebeest is one of the largest antelopes, from head to tail it can be 8 feet and weigh up to 600 pounds.
The wildebeest looks like a lot of other members of the bovine family in front with slim hind legs like any other antelope. Both the male and the female have horns. The wildebeest also has a mane like a horse.
Males attract females by rubbing their scent into the ground. The gestation period for a female is 8.5 months and she will give birth to a single calf. The calf can walk at birth and is ready to run with the rest of the herd a few days after birth.
Wildebeests live in herds comprised of males females and young. During migrations large herds comprised of all kinds of antelope all move together for safety and well because they’re all following the fresh water sources and grazing pastures. Millions of creatures move along annually in what is called The Great Migration.
Wildebeests in Migration
This migration in Africa is joined by thousands of zebras and gazelles. Most of the migration movement takes place in Tanzania and Kenya. The Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Conservation Area are among the areas that the migration takes place in. The Great Migration sees over 1.5 million Wildebeests and 200,000 zebras all marching in one direction at the same time.
Between January and March around a half million wildebeests are born. They just the number of new calves a day at 8,000, I’d say that’s one busy stork. During the great migration the animals travel 800 km or more. Research has also shown that when a herd of wildebeest face an obstacle or threat swarm mentality is used to push the herd past that challenge.
There are a ton of challenges during the migration also. There are predators, exhaustion, I mean the Serengeti alone is home to more than 3,000 lions. Add a croc and a leopard or two and the migration is as challenging as it is epic.
At CTC Animal Rides not only are we prepared to discuss hundreds of animals but we’re prepared to teach about them as well. Give us a call and let’s see how we can turn your event into an adventure. Talk with you all next week.