Hailed as one of the new Seven Wonders of the World, the Wildebeest migration is something that you should at least watch on TV. Migration of about 2 million animals from the National Park at Tanzania (Serengeti) to the National Park at Kenya (Maasai Mara) during the July – October period is indeed a sight not to be missed. The indescribable event that involves these animals crossing the Mara River and traverse over 40k square km in the dominant route is truly a wondrous sight to behold.
Did you know that Wildebeests are actually antelopes and they are quite a unique breed amongst antelopes?
Some facts about the animals themselves
- They have a lifespan of 20 years and can weigh anywhere between 260-600 pounds.
- Their typical habitat is in the plains of Eastern Africa.
- They usually consume grass and water and are continually on the move in search of these.
- Almost 80% of the females deliver their calves within a 2-3 week window.
- Lions are the primary predators of wildebeests.
- The animals are very noisy and emit low sounds (moans) and even snort violently in case of disturbances.
- Over the last 50 years, the wildebeests have extended their range and are one of the very few amongst the Antelope race to have done so in Africa.
- An adult wildebeest is usually gray in color and has vertical stripes that are dark.
- A calf is usually yellowish brown and turns into the adult color within 2 months.
- During the mating season, smaller subgroups are formed within the massive herds and each of these breeding sub groups would have about 150 animals.
- The bulls are territorial during the breeding and mating season and this has earned them the nickname – clowns of the savannah.
- Some of the predators travel with the herds and prey on them during migration.
- The wildebeests are preyed upon by crocodiles and other carnivores while they cross the river.
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