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 Post subject: Antelope: Blue Wildebeest
Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 21, 2006 5:05 pm 
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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2006 10:14 am 
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BLUE WILDEBEEST
(Connochates taurinnus)

Ger: Streifengnu.
Fre: Gnou bleu.
Afr: Blouwildebees.
Xho, Zul: Inkonkoni.

Mass: 140-290 kg.
Shoulder height: 1,2-1,5 m.
Tail length: 45-100 cm.
ID Pointers:
- Forequaters higher & much heavier than hindquaters.
- Dark grey with some brown in colour.
- Slightly darker vertical striping on neck & chest.
- Broad snout.
- Horns in both sexes.
Lifespan: +/- 15 yrs.
Main Predators:
1. Lion.
2. Spotted Hyaena.
3. Crocodile.
Young also fall prey to:
1. Leopard.
2. Cheetah.
3. Wild Dog.

DESCRIPTION:
- Dark grey to brownish with a silver-bluish tinge coat.
- Dark vertical stripes run down sides of body (from neck to just before hindquaters.)
- Black mane, beard, muzzle, throat fringe & tail.
- Cows are browner than bulls.
- Calves are fawn-brown with dark faces.
- Can maintain high speeds over long distances.
Scent glands: Preorbital & hoof.
Senses: Very good sight, hearing & smell.
Horns: Both sexes have horns which are robust. They're smooth & curve downward, outward & then upward. When seen form a 'W' like shape. Bulls' horns are more robust than cows. Length: 45-80 cm.

DISTRIBUTION IN KNP:
Scattered herds north of Olifants River. South of the river major concentrations are in the Mavumbye/Gudzani/ Bangu areas, between the Sweni River & Mlondozi Dam area & on the open plains between Lower Sabie & Crocodile Bridge. Smaller concentrations at the Orpen & Pretoriuskop areas.

BEHAVIOUR:
Diurnal & nocturnal. Herds are from 30-100000 individuals. Cow home ranges overlap several bull territories which can be as small as 15m. Bulls mark their territories with preorbital gland secretions, ground pawing & with dung & urine. At 1 years, young bulls join bachelor herds. Wildebeest associate themselves with Giraffe, Zebra & Impala.
Calls:
- Deep grunts.
- High-pitched 'ge-nu' snort.
Alarm signals:
- Alert posture.
- Stamping.
- Style trotting.
- Fleeing in leaping bounds.
Aggression:
- Horn threats.
- Horn clashing.
- Head tossing.
- Ground horning.
- Preorbital gland secretions ground rubbing.
- Frantic leaping.
- Cavorting.
- Mock/real charges.

REPRODUCTION:
During a 3-week calving period, a single calf of 15-20 kg is born in the early morning after a gestation of 8-8,5 months. Breeding in summer.

FOOD:
Grasses, but prefer short green grass.
HABITAT:
OPen grassland savanna & savanna woodland within very close proximity to water.

Sources:
- Field Guide to the mammals of the Kruger National Park by Heike Schutze.
- Field Guide to the larger mammals of Africa by Chris & Tilde Swart.


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2006 10:16 am 
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Found in the following SANParks:
- Kruger National Park.
- Kgaligadi Transfronteir Park.
- Mapungubwe National Park.
- West Coast National Park.


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2006 11:54 am 
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Quote:
Calves are fawn-brown with dark faces.


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 Post subject: Re: Antelope: Blue Wildebeest
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2009 10:28 am 
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Location: Back home in the caravan at Malelane camp, KNP
I have recently heard some guides telling folk that blue wildebeest have a poor sense of sight and therefore rely on the ohter animals to warn of danger. If on their own they tend to 'run from nothing' and then come back to see what it was they ran from.

They also tell folk that these animals have 'larva' or 'bacteria' in their noses which impedes their sense of smell.

I have done some searching which seems to disprove both 'facts' - but can anyone help by confirming this? I obviously do not want to challenge folk who should have more knowledge than me, and then find they were right!

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 Post subject: Re: Antelope: Blue Wildebeest
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2009 1:52 pm 
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My experience is that they have quite good vision! In fact it has happened that they have alerted other animals to our presence while walking.

But yes, they can become quite crazy and run for nothing, just to return to the same spot. :tongue:

There are flies that love laying their eggs in animals noses. The maggots live inside the sinuses, and is said to be able to affect the brain of the animals! They irritate the sinuses causing excessive mucus production.

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 Post subject: Re: Antelope: Blue Wildebeest
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2009 1:54 pm 
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Thanks Imberbe - it seems a case of getting a part of the information and then applying it in the wrong way! I will see what I can do about correcting them gently......and with dignity intact!

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 Post subject: Re: Antelope: Blue Wildebeest
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2009 1:55 pm 
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:lol: :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: Antelope: Blue Wildebeest
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2009 6:23 pm 
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I can add that the blue wildebeest is known as the clown of the bushveld. They'll run around in circles. They're also very curious. This is also a way to entice them to get closer ino the veld when you're on foot and cannot get close enough. Sit down, even in the open, and slowly wave a hat or handkerchief. Even just drape one on a bush close by so that it is fluttering in the breeze. They'll take off and run a semi-circle, and slowly come closer. Often taking off in ever-nearer semi-circles, until they are relatively close.

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 Post subject: Re: Antelope: Blue Wildebeest
Unread postPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2009 9:46 am 
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We are just discussing on one of the cam threads why some wildebeest kneel while drinking and some are not. Does anyone have an explanation for it? My theory is, that the olders tend to stand because they find it harder to get up again? Any help to shed some light on this is highly appreciated!

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 Post subject: Re: Antelope: Blue Wildebeest
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2009 2:35 pm 
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I think it would be impossible to give any definitive answer on that. It is up to the individual after all. It is not like giraffe who have to do the split.

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 Post subject: Re: Antelope: Blue Wildebeest
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2009 2:39 pm 
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Okay, thanks Imberbe! :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: Antelope: Blue Wildebeest
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 8:36 am 
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Have to agree with Imberbe. I've seen old ones and young ones kneel, or stand. Sometimes low water will force them to kneel, but at other it is a matter of choice.

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Hunter, nature lover, conservationist.

I believe that for man to survive, we must work with nature rather than against her. We need the land; the land doesn't need us. Too many people have lost sight of this fact. - Bruce Truter


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 Post subject: Re: Antelope: Blue Wildebeest
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 10:06 am 
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During our August 09 trip my son caught this guy on the S100

I like the horns. Think this is a good sample of a BWB


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 Post subject: Re: Antelope: Blue Wildebeest
Unread postPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2009 4:20 pm 
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During my last trip in May I saw a wildebeest with yellowbilled oxpeckers (S 50 near Mooiplaas). It seems to be common, but I have never seen a wildebeest with oxpeckers during my trips in Kruger. In fact, I have never seen a picture of this in wildlife books. Is this so common?


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