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Wildebeest in Kruger National Park, South Africa.Wildebeest grazingBlue Wildebeest (Gnu)A trotting blue wildebeest in Mikumi National ParkWildebeests
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Wildebeest Facts

Five groups that classify all living things
A group of animals within the animal kingdom
A group of animals within a pylum
A group of animals within a class
A group of animals within an order
A group of animals within a family
Scientific Name:
The name of the animal in science
Connochaetes Taurinus
The animal group that the species belongs to
What kind of foods the animal eats
How long (L) or tall (H) the animal is
1.2-1.4m (3.9-4.5ft)
The measurement of how heavy the animal is
120-250kg (265-550lbs)
Top Speed:
The fastest recorded speed of the animal
61km/h (38mph)
How long the animal lives for
15-20 years
Whether the animal is solitary or sociable
Conservation Status:
The likelihood of the animal becoming extinct
The colour of the animal's coat or markings
Black, Brown, Tan
Skin Type:
The protective layer of the animal
Favourite Food:
The preferred food of this animal
The specific area where the animal lives
Grass plains and bush covered savanna
Average Litter Size:
The average number of babies born at once
Main Prey:
The food that the animal gains energy from
Grass, Leaves, Shoots
Other animals that hunt and eat the animal
Lion, Cheetah, Crocodile
Special Features:
Characteristics unique to this animal
Long, thin legs and hairy face

Wildebeest Location

Map of Wildebeest Locations
Map of Africa


The wildebeest is actually a subspecies of the antelope, despite its bull-like appearance. There are two known species of wildebeest, both of which are native to Africa.

The changing African seasons mean the wildebeest must migrate south in the winter, so the wildebeest can continue to graze on grass. Thousands of wildebeest all tend to migrate at once creating a wildebeest stampede.

The wildebeest is a primary source of prey for many large African mammals, that often pick out the weaker wildebeest from the outside of the herd. Wildebeest generally grow to around 1.5 tall but are relatively defenceless against dominant, carnivorous predators such as lions and crocodiles.

The wildebeest are able to sense thunderstorms that are up to 30 miles away and the wildebeest follow these rains across Africa in what is commonly known as the great migration. The wildebeest trek around 30 miles every day and approximately 1,000 miles a year as the wildebeest follow the rains in order to find the best grass.

When the baby wildebeest are born, they are often able to stand within a matter of minutes and these young wildebeest are soon able to run around and soon learn about the importance of protection in numbers. When the wildebeest are migrating around the African continent, the young wildebeest always stay very close to the mother wildebeest as it is easy for the young wildebeest to get lost when there are so many wildebeest travelling together or be preyed upon by watching predators.

Wildebeest inhabit large plains on the African savanna where there is plenty of food for the wildebeest to eat. Wildebeest are herbivorous animals and graze on grasses, leaves and shoots.

Wildebeest live together in large herds in order to protect each other as on their own, wildebeest are defenceless and therefore vulnerable in the African wilderness. When danger is spotted, the wildebeest warn each using groaning calls and then run together creating a stampede, both to escape approaching predators and also to intimidate them.

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First Published: 7th November 2008, Last Updated: 7th November 2019

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2. David Burnie, Kingfisher (2011) The Kingfisher Animal Encyclopedia [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2011]
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4. Dorling Kindersley (2006) Dorling Kindersley Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 07 Nov 2008]
5. Richard Mackay, University of California Press (2009) The Atlas Of Endangered Species [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2009]
6. Tom Jackson, Lorenz Books (2007) The World Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 07 Nov 2008]