These 500lb Wildebeest Try Parkour… And Instantly Regret It

Written by Eliana Riley
Updated: December 29, 2022
© Dr Ajay Kumar Singh/
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Continue Reading To See This Amazing Video

Key Points:

  • Wildebeest are migratory animals, traveling approximately 1,000 miles every year.
  • Many environmental threats face wildebeest, such as habitat fragmentation and poaching.
  • While wildebeest are closely related to cattle and look like bulls, they are large antelopes.
  • Another name for a wildebeest is “gnu.”

Imagine tumbling off a cliff and face-planting underneath 500 pounds of body weight. This is exactly what happens in this video, where wildebeest are shown jumping off a high cliff onto the ground. The first one dives down toward the ground and tumbles onto its back. It rolls and slowly regains its standing with difficulty. It then trots off and follows the other wildebeest below the cliff.

The second wildebeest has better luck than the first in its jump. The second wildebeest lands somewhat on its feet and regains its balance more rapidly than the first wildebeest. Meanwhile, the rest of the herd on top of the cliff looks on with nervous anticipation. It appears that the onlookers do not want to take this fateful jump.

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Background on Wildebeest

While wildebeest are considered antelopes, they are also related to cattle and other domesticated animals. A wildebeest’s large, curved horns make it stand out from other antelope species. They are huge creatures, weighing between 260 and 595 pounds. Most wildebeest have a gray-colored body with a black mane. However, certain wildebeest species differ in color, size, and shape depending on their location.

Wildebeest are herbivores, meaning they eat vegetation and do not consume meat. They mainly feed on grasses and typically must migrate to find food. Wildebeest herds can migrate approximately 1,000 miles every year. Migration is difficult, though, because wildebeest often become injured or killed during migration. As seen in the video, wildebeest must conquer dangerous terrain to travel where they need to go.

Animal migration - wildebeest
The wildebeest’s migration is largely driven by the rains.

©Kristof Bellens/

One interesting fact about wildebeest is that they make loud, expressive noises. Some of these sounds come in the form of moans or snorts. This behavior makes the wildebeest a noisy animal. Another fact about wildebeest is that most females will give birth around the same time. Therefore, many wildebeest are produced all at once, as it is more difficult for predators to kill a host of calves as opposed to an individual offspring.

Wildebeest mainly reside in the southern portion of the continent of Africa. Countries such as Angola, Zambia, Namibia, South Africa, and Mozambique are home to wildebeest. However, wildebeest face several threats within these countries. Habitat fragmentation and poaching are two of these threats. Habitat fragmentation occurs when land used for agriculture divides the habitat of wildebeest, prohibiting them from grazing and moving about freely.

Some solutions to environmental threats on wildebeest are to lobby for change and to contact government officials. In this way, policies prohibiting poaching and the use of land for agricultural purposes in several areas can be developed and passed to ensure wildebeest safety. Another mechanism for fighting wildebeest threats is to work with communities in developing sustainable agricultural practices that will aid both farmers and the environment.

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The Featured Image

Wildebeest in the wild
While they may not look athletic here, wildebeest can run up to 50 mph!
© Dr Ajay Kumar Singh/

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About the Author

I'm Ellie, and I am a full-time college student at Miami University. I enjoy writing, copy editing, and being involved in journalism. I write for The Miami Student newspaper as an opinion columnist. My favorite animals are fish, rabbits, and cats.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Where do wildebeest live?

Wildebeest can be encountered in the southern portion of Africa.

Why do wildebeest migrate?

Wildebeest migrate for grazing purposes. After they have depleted an area, they must find new grasses to graze.

What is another name for a wildebeest?

Wildebeest also go by the common name “gnu.”

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.

  1. African Wildlife Foundation, Available here:
  2. Alina Bradford, Available here: