Wildebeest

The Wildebeest or Gnu is a member of the Bovidae family which includes antelope, cattle, sheep and goats. There are two species of wildebeest, blue and black. Blue wildebeest inhabit the plains and woodlands of eastern and southern Africa. Black wildebeest inhabit exclusively grasslands in the most southern parts of the continent.

The easiest way to distinguish between the two species is their horns. Blue wildebeest have horns which protrude to the side, then downward and up then up. Black wildebeest horns point forward, downward and up at the tips.

Blue wildebeest are also larger than Black wildebeest. Males stand 150 cm (60 in) at the shoulder and weigh up to 250 kg (550 lb). Females are somewhat smaller with heights of 135 cm (53 in) and weighing 180 kg (400 lb).

Wildebeest gather in large herds, often mixed with zebras. Some populations engage in yearly migrations to new grazing grounds. When threatened by predators they can run at 80 km (50 mi) per hour.

Wildebeest @ Safari Niagara

  • Safari Niagara is home to three female Wildebeest.
  • Their paddock can be found next to the lions.
  • Their names are Clo, Stella & Sara.

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Bovidae
Genus: Connochaaetes
Species: C. taurinus (blue)

Did you know?

  • One of the greatest threats to Blue wildebeest is the fragmentation of their migratory routes by the building of roads and fences.