Blue Wildebeest

 


Characteristics:
Adult blue wildebeest stand about 150 cm /  60 inch at the shoulder with a mass of about 250 kg / 550 lb.. Their body has a bull-like, big and powerful appearance. Their shoulders stand only slightly out against the spine and their lightly built hindquarters seem out of proportion to the rest of the body. Blue wildebeest have slender limbs, a massive elongated head, a wide hairy mouth, a fringe of thick black hair on the forehead and along the muzzle, manes of long black hair which droop over their necks and shoulders and long whisks of black hair on the ends of their tails. Both sexes carry unrigged horns which, rising from swollen bosses, sweep outward and then rise upwards to the inwardly pointed tips, which often are directed slightly backward. Both sexes have a similar appearance, cows being slightly smaller with lighter horns.

Colouring:
Blue wildebeest are dark grey in colour, on neck and shoulders and extending back to about the middle of the body there is a series of more or less distinct dark-coloured bars. Juveniles are reddish-brown in colour with a dark face.

Habitat:
Open grassland and thorn-bush savanna..

Occurrence:
Endemic to central and northern parts of Namibia, reintroduced on many farms all over the country.

Main food:
Predominantly grazers with a preference for specific grass types. Blue wildebeest drink daily, if possible, but they are not dependent on water.

Gestation period:
About 250 days.

Age:
Up to 18 years.

Horns:
Both sexes carry horns and have a similar appearance, cows being slightly smaller with lighter horns. Adult bulls may have an extent of the horns up to 70 cm / 28 inch.

Habits:
Blue wildebeest are gregarious, occurring predominantly in large herds. Old bulls are occasionally solitary, territorial, and often associate with herds of other antelope species. Larger aggregations of female herds and bachelor groups are encircled by bulls in order to keep them together and mark off their defence zone against other herds. Otherwise they graze in a loose social organization. They are always active, expect during hot midday hours.

Voice:
Loud, explosive snort and deep groaning grunt.
 

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