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Greater Kudu

Male Greater Kudu
Male Greater Kudu
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Photographer: Per-Gunnar Ostby of www.pgoimages.com


Female Greater Kudu
Female Greater Kudu


Greater Kudu Range Map (East to South Africa)
Greater Kudu Range Map (East to South Africa)

Latin Name Tragelaphus strepsiceros
Conservation Status Conservation Dependent
Location East to South Africa
Colour Grey/Brown
Length 2 - 2.5 m (6.5 - 8.25 ft)
Tail 37 - 48 cms (14.5 - 19 inches)
Weight 120 - 315 Kgs (260 - 690 lbs)
Life Expectancy Up to 15 Yrs (wild)
Up to 20 Yrs (in Captivity)

Main Characteristics

Greater Kudu are one of the tallest antelopes. They have a body length between 2 and 2.5 m (6.5 - 8.25 ft), a tail length between 37 and 48 cms (14.5 - 19 inches), a shoulder height between 1 and 1.5 m (3.3 - 4.9 ft) and they weigh between 120 and 315 kgs (260 - 690 lbs).

They are grey/brown to reddish/brown in colour and they have 6 - 10 white body stripes, a white nose and white cheek markings. They have a narrow body and long legs.

Male Greater Kudu tend to be much larger than females. They have a long fringe of hair on their throat and they have large horns that have two and a half twists in them. Their horns average 1.2 m (3.9 ft) in length and they only begin to grow when the male is 6 - 12 months old. When they reach 2 years old their horns will have one twist, but they will only gain the full two and a half twists when they reach 6 years old.

Males also tend to be more vocal than females. they use low grunts, gasps, clicks and humming to communicate.

Habitat

Greater Kudu are found in the brush covered plains, woodlands and rocky hillsides of eastern and southern Africa. Females and their young live in herds consisting of up to 6 individuals. Sometimes two groups of females will join together to form a larger herd, but it is only temporary.

Males form bachelor herds that consist of 2 - 10 individuals. Bachelor herds do not overlap but the range of one bachelor herd may overlap those of two or three female herds. Males and females only associate during the breeding season.

Diet

Greater Kudu feed upon grasses, leaves, flowers, herbs, fruits and tubers.

Breeding

Greater Kudu breed at the end of the rainy season, however this can change depending on their location. After a gestation period of approximately 240 days, 1 calf (occasionally 2) is born.

During its first 2 weeks it spends most of its time hidden away from predators but for the following 4 - 5 weeks it roams with the herd during the day. When they reach 6 months old they are weaned.

Males remain with their mother's herd until they are 1 - 2 years old, but females stay in there for life. Males reach sexual maturity at 5 years of age, females at 3 years of age.

Predators

The main predators of Greater Kudu are lions, leopards, cheetahs, african wild dogs and humans.

Subspecies

There are three subspecies of Greater Kudu:

Southern Greater Kudu
(Tragelaphus strepsiceros strepsiceros)

East African Greater Kudu
(Tragelaphus strepsiceros bea)

Western Greater Kudu
(Tragelaphus strepsiceros cottoni)

Interesting Facts

Greater Kudu are the second largest Antelope in the world, the eland being the largest.

Similar Animals

Lesser Kudu
Nyala
Mountain Nyala
Imbabala
Kewel
Sitatunga
Bongo

 


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