Eastern White-bearded Wildebeest

A wildebeest’s humped shoulders, lightly built hindquarters, and long legs allow him to break into a run easily, a very important ability when avoiding predators. Wildebeests usually form herds averaging 8 individuals, but herds often overlap each other, changing the number of associated individuals daily. They will migrate to new areas in search of food and water. Males are territorial and will defend their access to resources or their mate. However, during the dry season when resources are limited for all, males are much more tolerant of each other. All females give birth together on calving grounds, but a mother will always recognize her own calf by scent and call and will refuse to nurse any other’s calf. Wildebeests are not highly social with each other, but they are tolerant of other species – they are often found in a herd together with other herd animals, such as zebras.

Eastern White-bearded Wildebeest

Connochaetes taurinus albojubatus

Habitat: African savanna

Diet in the wild: Grazes on succulent plants and karroo bushes

Diet at Caldwell Zoo: Sweet feed, Caldwell Zoo pellets, coastal hay

Size: Stand 4 feet tall at the shoulder

Family: If separated, a mother and her calf will run and call out to one another until they are reunited.

Status: Least Concern

Did you know? At night, wildebeests form linear bedding formations that can range from a dozen animals to a thousand.

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