Watch This Hero Wildebeest Save Its Friend From an Attacking Cheetah

Written by Angie Menjivar
Published: February 8, 2023
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You have a specific instinct when danger is present — you may run, freeze, or fight. In the animal world, when a predator approaches, the instinct is the same. Prey animals may take off running, freeze and play dead, or fight when needed.

When a prey animal is caught, other animals often run, avoiding the source of danger as it takes down a member of their group. In some cases, however, an animal may step in as a hero. They may provoke or fight against the predator, trying to help their animal friend.

In this clip, you watch how a wildebeest puts itself in the line of fire to protect its friend. Instead of running away and ensuring its own survival, it moves forward toward the violent scene and uses its own body as a distraction.

Wildebeest often roam together, especially when they migrate.

© Canning

How Do Wildebeests Communicate?

Wildebeests communicate in a variety of ways. They use their senses of sight and smell along with vocalizations. In fact, the bellowing sound they make can travel over a mile. This serves to alert other populations of their territory. It also serves as a way for the males to get the attention of females during mating season.

What Animals Prey on Wildebeests?

Wildebeests are herbivores, so they only eat plant life. Their predators, on the other hand, are carnivores. Those predators include cheetahs, lions, hyenas, and wild dogs. Although wildebeests are larger than each of these species, they’re all adept hunters. Sometimes they use their strength in numbers to take down a large wildebeest and other times, they persist as lone hunters.

In this video, you watch a cheetah surrounded by wildebeest. It’s walking slowly, assessing the situation. In the next clip, the cheetah is in hot pursuit of a wildebeest. Both run incredibly fast but of course, the cheetah catches up, lunges onto the wildebeest, and gets a hold of the back of its neck.

At this point, the wildebeest is nearly done for. The lone cheetah has both its claws and carnassials (molars and premolars) deep into the wildebeest, committed to the takedown. Another wildebeest approaches the scene and scares off the cheetah. The cheetah is left looking out at both of them, unsuccessful this time around.

Watch how a cheetah loses its kill when two wildebeest band together.

Up Next, Watch These Wildebeests in Other Fascinating Encounters:

Watch This Sprinting Wildebeest Dropkick a Lion and Evade the Hungry Pack

Watch Wildebeests Making a Harrowing Crossing of a Crocodile-Infested River

See a Wildebeest Launch Itself Over Two Lions and Glide Across a Lake to Escape Six More

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Chad Rosenthal from Jerusalem, Israel, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons – License / Original

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About the Author

Angie Menjivar is a writer at A-Z-Animals primarily covering pets, wildlife, and the human spirit. She has 14 years of experience, holds a Bachelor's degree in psychology, and continues her studies into human behavior, working as a copywriter in the mental health space. She resides in North Carolina, where she's fallen in love with thunderstorms and uses them as an excuse to get extra cuddles from her three cats.

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