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The Wildebeest
wildebeest The Maasai Mara Wildebeest Migration is the largest mammal migration in the world. The head of the wildebeest is large and box-like and both males and females have curving horns. It is found in the most visited park in Kenya,Maasai Mara National Reserve.
About The Wildebeest

wildebeest_migration
wildebeest_migration

Parks Where Found

Physical Characteristics

  • Weighs 242 to 396 pounds (110 to 180 kilograms
  • It measures 5.6 to 7.3 feet (170 to 220 centimeters) long.
  • Shoulder height of 3 to 4 feet (90 to 120 centimeters).
  • Females are slightly smaller than males.
  • Coats are dark brown to black, with males darker than females.
  • A short mane on neck stands up and is whitish with black tips. The beard is black.

Natural Environment

Wildebeest occupy the plains and acacia savannas of eastern Africa.

Behaviour

Females and young form herds while males form their own groups. Males will defend territories during mating season by horn wrestling and loud vocalizations. Some are migratory.

Males "perfume" themselves for courtship by rolling in their urine and dung. They further draw attention to themselves by bellowing out a "ge-nu" call, foaming at the mouth, and dashing madly around while shaking their heads.

Mates from February through April, and after a gestation period of 240 to 270 days, females give birth to a single calf. Young walk within ten minutes of birth and are nursed for about four months. Females are ready to breed between eighteen and thirty months, males at three years. Lifespan in captivity is around twenty years. Lion and hyenas will take down lame or sick adults, and babies fall prey to wild dogs, leopards, and cheetahs.

Diet

The wildebeest prefers short grasses but is known to browse on bushes and other vegetation to supplement the winter diet. They also need to drink every one to two days.

Predators and Threats

  • Carnivores like lions, cheetahs, leopards, hyenas
  • Habitat fragmentation by fencing off large regions of land poses a large threat to migrating wildebeest.

Facts for Fun

  • Wildebeest are noisy creatures. Bulls have an array of loud vocalizations, from moans to explosive snorts.
  • The Maasai Mara - Serengeti Wildebeest Migration is the largest mammal migration in the world.

Other Links

Herbivores

Giraffe

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Maasai Mara Wildebeest Migration
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