Black Wildebeest


 

 

Characteristics:
Black wildebeest stand about 120 cm / 48 inch at the shoulder, with a mass of about 180 kg / 397 lb.. Peculiar appearance: Powerful body, the back slopes from the massive humped shoulder to the slender, lightly built hindquarters. Black wildebeest have a big head with a conspicuous brush of long hair along the muzzle between eyes and nostrils, distinct chin beard, an elongated patch of long hair on the chest extends to the forelegs.

Colouring:
Dark brown, adult bulls can be almost black in colour. Their neck and shoulder mane is yellowish-white at the basis, but dark towards the tip. The characteristic feature in the field is the tail, which is dark at the base, the remainder with long, off-white hair reaching nearly to the ground. Both sexes have a similar appearance, cows being slightly smaller. Young calves are lighter in colour.

Habitat:
Open grassland, dry pans with thorn-bush savanna.

Occurrence:
No natural occurrence in Namibia. Having been introduced on many hunting farms in the country, Black wildebeest have adapted well to local conditions.

Main food:
Black wildebeest are predominantly grazers, but the will also feed on succulents and browse on aroid bushes. They depend on water and drink regularly.

Gestation period:
About 260 days.

Age:
Up to 20 years.

Horns:
Both sexes carry horns and have a similar appearance. Cows resemble being smaller in size with lighter horns and weaker horns.

Habits:
Black wildebeest are gregarious, occurring in herds of 10-30 animals, with several bulls. Solitary bulls are territorially confined to one area, they cannot be driven out of their area very easily. Territorial bulls adopt their characteristic threat display with the neck held erected and the head directed horizontally, as they advance their rivals in a "rocking horse" canter. Forming a half circle, they will come to a standstill and remain in this position until they head off the next run.

Voice:
Loud roaring snort, sometimes a whistle.

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