Game details:

  • Description The greater kudu is a woodland antelope found throughout eastern and southern Africa. Despite occupying such widespread territory, they are sparsely populated in most areas.

Greater kudus have a narrow body with long legs, and their coats can range from brown/bluish grey to reddish brown. They possess between 4 and 12 vertical white stripes along their torso. The head tends to be darker in colour than the rest of the body, and exhibits a small white chevron which runs between the eyes. Greater kudu bulls tend to be much larger than the cows, and vocalize much more, utilizing low grunts, clucks, humming, and gasping. The bulls also have beards running along their throats, and large horns with two and a half twists, which, were they to be straightened, would reach an average length of 120 cm (47 in), with the record being 187.64 cm (73.87 in).[5] They diverge slightly as they slant back from the head. The horns do not begin to grow until the bull is between the ages of 6–12 months. The horns form the first spiral rotation at around 2 years of age, and not reaching the full two and a half rotations until they are 6 years old; occasionally they may even have 3 full turns.

This is one of the largest species of antelope. Bulls weigh 190–270 kg, with a maximum of 315 kg and stand up to 160 cm tall at the shoulder. The ears of the greater kudu are large and round. Cows weigh 120–210 kg and stand as little as 100 cm tall at the shoulder; they are hornless, without a beard or nose markings. The head-and-body length is 185–245 cm, to which the tail may add a further 30–55 cm

Predators of the greater kudu generally consist of lions, spotted hyenas, and African wild dogs. Although cheetahs and leopards also prey on greater kudus, they usually target cows and calves rather than fully grown bulls. There are several instances reported where Nile crocodiles have preyed on greater kudus, although based on records, the larger mammalian carnivores statistically are much more dangerous to the kudu and comparable large ungulates, or at least those with a preference for dry, upland habitats over riparian or swamp areas.[11] When a herd is threatened by predators, an adult (usually a female) will issue a bark to alert the rest of the herd. Despite being very nimble over rocky hillsides and mountains, the greater kudu is not fast enough (nor does it have enough endurance) to escape its main predators over open terrain, so it tends to rely on leaping over shrubs and small trees to shake off pursuers.[2] Greater kudus have excellent hearing and acute eyesight, which helps to alert them to approaching predators. Their colouring and markings protect kudus by camouflaging them. If alarmed, they usually stand still, making them very difficult to spot

Greater kudus reach sexual maturity between 1 and 3 years of age. The mating season occurs at the end of the rainy season, which can fluctuate slightly according to the region and climate. Before mating, there is a courtship ritual which consists of the male standing in front of the female and often engaging in a neck wrestle. The male then trails the female while issuing a low pitched call until the female allows him to copulate with her. Gestation takes around 240 days (or eight months) Calving generally starts between February and March (late austral summer), when the grass tends to be at its highest.

Greater kudus tend to bear one calf, although occasionally there may be two. The pregnant female kudu will leave her group to give birth; once she gives birth, the newborn is hidden in vegetation for about 4 to 5 weeks (to avoid predation). After 4 or 5 weeks, the offspring will accompany its mother for short periods of time; then by 3 to 4 months of age, it will accompany her at all times. By the time it is 6 months old, it is quite independent of its mother. The majority of births occur during the wet season (January to March). In terms of maturity, female greater kudus reach sexual maturity at 15–21 months. Males reach maturity at 21–24 months.

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