Wildebeest | Exploring the World of Wildlife: facts about the Wildebeest

There are more than a hundred species and subspecies of antelope. In this video we will look at interesting facts about Gnu Antelope.

The Gnu Antelope is a majestic animal, with a stunning appearance and grace. This animal has both lightning-fast reactions and speed and a stunning appearance.

Fact number one.

There are two species of Gnu antelope in the wild that differ in color type: blue/striped and white-tailed. The white-tailed wildebeest is considered a rather rare animal and is only found in wildlife sanctuaries.

Fact number two.

The horns grow not only in males, but also in females, although they differ, as the males’ horns are thicker and more massive. The basic coat coloration varies from species to species, so blue-tailed Gnu are characterized by a dark gray or silvery-blue basic coloration, with transverse black stripes running along the sides of the body. White-tailed Gnu are characterized by their basic or black or brown coloration, with the tail tip pure white and the mane black and white. In appearance, these animals look more like horned horses than antelopes.

Fact number three.

Gnu antelopes prefer to form herds consisting of half a thousand individuals. Their social orientation allows them to survive in the presence of dangerous predators. Any member of the herd that notices a predator gives an audible signal and the herd rushes in different directions in an instant. When the animals scatter, it disorients the predators, which buys time. In extreme cases, when it’s a matter of life and death, gnu antelope defend themselves with their horns and limbs. If the animal is healthy and strong, even lions do not risk attacking it, choosing weaker individuals or cubs.

Fact number four.

A quietly grazing Gnu antelope may, for no apparent reason, start jumping on the spot, striking an unseen enemy with its horns and kicking back with its hind legs. This ends as suddenly as it begins, and the antelope continues quietly plucking grass. No one can yet explain why they do this.

Fact number five.

Gnu always migrate in the same direction from south to north and back. The migration season begins in May and continues through November. It is usually the same route, with the same obstacles. In fact, it is their way of life, as only the healthy and strong survive, as well as those who are lucky. Often animals die under the feet of their congeners, who rush through the savannah in numerous herds and at high speed. If there is enough fresh grass in one place for the herd, the herd will not seek other places for their subsistence. Gnu antelopes like to drink a lot of water, so they prefer to occupy an area close to a waterhole. Because of these facts, it should be noted that Gnu antelopes will inhabit areas where there is plenty of water and plenty of fresh, succulent grass, as well as conditions for taking cool mud baths.

Fact number six.

Curiosity is one of the antelope’s traits. If an object interests the antelope, the antelope can approach it at close range and forget its fear of danger. When living in the wild, Gnu antelopes do not live more than two decades. This is due to the many dangers that await the animal at every step. Once in captivity, it can live up to five years longer.

Fact number seven.

Beginning in April and lasting for three months, the Gnu antelope is in heat. During this period, the males fight over the right to own the harem. As a rule, fights are not that bloody and do not lead to the death of animals. Their duels are limited to the usual bouting, which is a simple demonstration of strength. The winner has the right to own a harem of half a dozen females, while the defeated one is content with what remains. The female wildebeest incubates her young for eight months, so the offspring are born in January and February. This is when the rainy season begins, so food is plentiful. After they are born, the cubs are on their feet in half an hour and keep up with their mother. Antelope Gnu cubs grow as fast as the grass after the rain. One calf is usually born, although there are cases when a pair of calves is born. For eight months, the mother feeds her calves with her milk. In spite of this, the offspring start nibbling on grass at an early age. After the mother stops feeding her calf with milk, she takes care of her offspring for another nine months. The calf does not become sexually mature until it is four years old.

Fact number eight.

Adult males are one hundred and ten to one hundred and twenty centimeters tall and can reach two meters in body length. In females these dimensions are slightly less. The average body mass is one hundred and eighty. The paired horns are directed first downward, forward, and then upward, like hooks. The horns are about eighty centimeters long in males and a little less in females.

Fact number nine.

They may eat up to sixteen hours a day, amounting to four kilos of grass. They mainly graze in the morning and evening hours, but, like all ungulates, their activity peaks several times a day. They rest on open areas with good visibility.  Their broad muzzle is most suitable for plucking short green grass and, indeed, animals mostly eat grassy plants. In winter, during the dry season, gnu eat scarce shrubs. Throughout the year, these animals need watering holes.

Fact number ten.

Once in the wild, gnu antelope do not live more than two decades. This is due to the many dangers that await the animal at every step. In captivity, they can live up to five years longer.

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