Game details:

  • Description The wildebeest is a bush and open plains species and is often found with Zebra. They live in good sized herds from 15 – 35 animals in a herd

“The blue wildebeest, also called the common wildebeest, is a large antelope and one of the two species of wildebeest. The blue wildebeest is known to have five subspecies. This broad-shouldered antelope has a muscular, front-heavy appearance, with a distinctive, robust muzzle. Young blue wildebeest are born tawny brown, and begin to take on their adult coloration at the age of 2 months. The adults’ hues range from a deep slate or bluish-grey to light grey or even greyish-brown. Both sexes possess a pair of large curved horns.

The blue wildebeest is a herbivore, feeding primarily on short grasses. It forms herds which move about in loose aggregations, the animals being fast runners and extremely wary. The mating season begins at the end of the rainy season and a single calf is usually born after a gestational period of about 8.5 months. The calf remains with its mother for 8 months, after which it joins a juvenile herd. Oddly, rare blue wildebeest can have a glow or luminescent coat during the change of seasons between fall and winter. Blue wildebeest are found in short-grass plains bordering bush-covered acacia savannas in southern and eastern Africa, thriving in areas that are neither too wet nor too arid. Three African populations of blue wildebeest take part in a long-distance migration, timed to coincide with the annual pattern of rainfall and grass growth on the short-grass plains where they can find the nutrient-rich forage necessary for lactation and calf growth

Male blue wildebeest become sexually mature at about 2 years of age, while females can conceive at 16 months if adequately nourished. Nevertheless, most females do not start to breed until a year later. The mating season, which lasts for about 3 weeks, coincides with the end of the rainy season. This means that the animals are in good condition, having been feeding on highly nutritious new grass growth, and the conception rate is often as high as 95%. The mating season, or rut, typically begins on the night of a full moon, suggesting that the lunar cycle influences breeding. At this time, testosterone production peaks in males, resulting in increased calling and territorial behaviour.

The gestation period is about 8.5 months, and between 80 and 90% of the calves are born within a 3-week time period. Female wildebeest give birth in the middle of a herd rather than alone, and typically in the middle of the day. This allows time for the new born to become steady on its feet before night falls and the predators become more active. Calves weigh about 19 kg (42 lb) at birth, and can usually stand on their own within a few minutes of birth. To escape predation, calves remain close to their mothers for a significant time, and may continue suckling until the next year’s calf is nearly due. Male calves leave their mother at about 8 months and form herds with other male juveniles. In large female herds, 80% of the wildebeest offspring survive the first month, compared to a 50% survival rate in smaller herds

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