Blue wildebeests are among the most popular wild animals in the world. This is because of their migratory behavior. Millions of tourists have visited Africa to see their great migration. The animals migrate to Kenya in millions in search of food and water. In this article, you will learn 5 fascinating facts about the blue wildebeest.
Blue Wildebeest Weight
Blue wildebeests have a scary appearance. They have large heads, sharp and curved horns, and shaggy manes. It is because of this look that they earned the name wildebeest. They are heavily built. They can weigh up to 290 kg. They can be as tall as 145 cm. Both females and males grow horns. This is one of the fun facts about wildebeest. They live in open woodlands and grassy plains. They are usually active day and night. You are more likely to spot them grazing. They spend most of their time eating.
5 Fascinating Facts About The Blue Wildebeest
- They are very social
This is one of the 5 fascinating facts about the blue wildebeest. They live in large herds. They tend to gather in herds where there is enough food and water. You can find them in the largest herds in Serengeti, Tanzania, and Masai Mara, Kenya.
They migrate in these large groups in search of food. Climate can be harsh in their habitats. They are forced to migrate for greener pastures. Their migration to Kenya is one of the wonders of the world. Millions of wildebeests move from Serengeti to Masai Mara. You can witness the Great Migration between July and August. September to October, you are likely to find them grazing in Masai Mara. Hundreds of thousands of tourists across the world visit Kenya to see the migration.
Wildebeests are herbivores. They prefer eating short grasses. This is in plenty during the rainy season. They also need a lot of water. They cannot live long without water. Usually, a blue wildebeest will give birth to one baby. The baby can stand after the first 15 minutes. It will accompany the mother until it is 9 months old. At 16 months, females have reached sexual maturity. Males mature at 2 years.
- They are polygamous
Blue wildebeests practice polygamy. Males may have several female mates. This is known as polygyny. Females may also have several male mates. This is known as polyandry. They are all forms of polygamy. It is among the 5 fascinating facts about the blue wildebeest.
The mating season takes place for about 3 weeks. It occurs after the rainy season. In Serengeti, it is usually around May. The gestation period is about 8 months. The calving season is around January and February. This period has enough food and water for calves. The grass is also taller to hide babies from predators.
- They are often found with zebras
You can spot wildebeests in most places in Africa. You can see them in Serengeti in Tanzania. You can also see them in Masai Mara in Kenya. But something is interesting about wildebeests. You are more likely to spot them with zebras. So, what is the relationship between zebra and wildebeest? Well, seems like they just like each other. This is one of the fun facts about wildebeests. But they share a symbiotic relationship. They avoid competing for food. Zebras prefer feeding on long grasses. Wildebeests prefer shorter grasses. Zebras also help wildebeests when it comes to migration routes. They have greater memories.
- They share a family with cattle
Blue wildebeest belong to the family Bovidae. The family includes other animals such as cattle, goats, and antelopes. They occur in 5 subspecies. Each subspecies is different in color and size.
- They are antelopes
There are two types of wildebeests; blue and black wildebeests. They belong to the group of Antelopes. You can see the blue wildebeests in Tanzania or Kenya. You can see the black wildebeests in South Africa.
Blue wildebeests migrate. Their migration is the largest on earth. They migrate in millions. Over 2 million have been recorded crossing the Mara River. During the migration, no protocols are observed. There are no leaders. Any wildebeest can start the journey and the rest will follow. Black wildebeests do not migrate as much.
Blue wildebeests are currently not endangered. Their population is over a million. Humans are their main threats. Activities such as irrigation and cutting down of trees affect water levels. This puts the wild animals in danger. They have to migrate to areas that are not protected in search of water. While in these places, they can easily be hunted.
During the migration, many wildebeests lose their lives. This migration season is the best for the big cats. They stay along the Mara River to attack wildebeests. In the water, hippos and crocodiles kill many of these unique animals.
In this post, we have identified 5 fascinating facts about the blue wildebeest. You should book your African safari to see these animals. You should also see these animals migrating. It is one of the popular tourist activities in East Africa. You should not miss it. While on safari, you get to see many other wild animals. You will also love interacting with the locals. Africa is a beautiful place. You need to book your safari today. You will have a good opportunity to appreciate nature.