The Blue Wildebeest is an often-overlooked animal on the vast African plains, and hardly features at all on the wish lists of safari goers. It has been assigned a membership to the “Ugly 5”, and is an almost comedic figure in the bush. Many have proclaimed that it is made up of a number of different animal parts – forequarters from an ox, hindquarters from an antelope, and mane and tail from a horse.
Sadly, their more remarkable features are often not known. So we have taken it upon ourselves today to share a few of the better qualities of this much maligned animal.
Did you know that the blue wildebeest is among the top ten fastest animals in world and has the capacity to reach speeds of up to 80km/h?
- Wildebeest calves can walk within minutes of being born. This enables them keep up with the rest of the herd.
- In the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem the animals make a migratory circle each year of 500 to 1,000 miles! They will swim rivers and lakes in such huge masses that many are injured or even killed.
- Wildebeest are continually on the move as they seek favorable supplies of grass and water, and are active during both day and night.
- The wildebeest is one of the few African antelopes to have extended its range. They numbered about 250,000 in 1960 as compared to approximately 1.5 million today.
- The blue wildebeest is one of 2 species of wildebeest found on the African continent. The other is the black wildebeest. This species is not found on Kapama Game Reserve.
- The blue wildebeest is also known as the Brindled Gnu.
- Blue wildebeest communicate with each other through grunting sounds.
- Both males and females have horns, however the males’ horns are larger and joined at the base by a boss-like structure.
- The coat of a young blue wildebeest is brownish in colour. They only attain their colour at 3 months old.
Clowns they may be, but they are resilient, determined and distinctive. And for that they deserve recognition.