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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