Blue Wildebeest in Pilanesberg
The name was given to the animal due to the silvery blue sheen which features on the short haired hide. This animal can be found in open plains, bushveld and dry woodlands of Southern and East Africa.
They often graze with other species such as plains zebras for mutual protection. The Blue Wildebeest is preyed upon by lions, spotted hyenas and the Nile crocodile.
The calf is preyed upon by cheetahs, leopards and wild dogs. These animals can often be found in either mixed herds with a dominant male, female only or bachelor only herds.
The Blue Wildebeest has a beefy and muscular appearance. The muzzle is tough, with slender legs making this animal graceful and quiet. The large horns are shaped like brackets. Young ones are born tawny brown, and they begin to turn into their adult colouration around 9 weeks old. Both sexes’ manes are long, stiff and jet black.
Females mate with many males, in many different territories. Mating occurs over a 3-4 week period at the end of March/April. The female is sexually mature at 3 years old. The male is mature at 4-5 years old. Females prefer to give birth in the middle of a herd, as opposed to being on their own. The gestation period is 8.5 months. Calves can stand on their own after 7 minutes, and 2 hours after the birth they can run with the herd. 80% of offspring in a large herd will survive the first month, while only 50% of offspring in a small herd will survive their first month.