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Blue Wildebeest

Blue Wildebeest
© www.pgoimages.com
Photographer: Per-Gunnar Ostby of www.pgoimages.com

Blue Wildebeest
© www.pgoimages.com
Photographer: Per-Gunnar Ostby of www.pgoimages.com

Blue Wildebeest Range Map (East & Southern Africa)
Blue Wildebeest Range Map
(East & Southern Africa)
Latin Name Connochaetes taurinus
Conservation Status Conservation Dependent
Location East & Southern Africa
Colour Slate Grey
Length 1.5 - 2.4 m (5 - 7.75 ft)
Tail 35 - 56 cm (14 - 22 inches)
Weight 120 - 275 Kg (260 - 610 lbs)
Life Expectancy Up to 20 Yrs

Main Characteristics

Blue Wildebeest are large antelope that have a body length between 1.5 and 2.4 m (5 - 7.75 ft), a shoulder height between 1.28 and 1.4 m (4.2 - 4.6 ft), a tail length between 35 and 56 cms (14 - 22 inches) and they weight between 120 and 275 kgs (260 - 610 lbs).

They have a heavy-fronted appearance with a large, rectangular-shaped head. They have a mane, beard and a long, dark coloured tail. Their coat is short and slate grey in colour with dark vertical stripes down each side.

Both males and females horns, with those of males being larger. Each horn curves downwards then up and they can reach up to 80 cms (32 inches) in length. Their horns lack any ridges and in males they are joined at the base by a boss-like structure.

They communicate with each other via grunting calls, they can reach speeds up to 80 km/hr (50 mph) and they are among the top ten fastest land animals in the world.


Blue Wildebeest are found on the grasslands and open woodlands of east and central Africa. Females and their calves form small herds and when males are between 1 and 4 years old they form bachelor groups. When males reach 4 - 5 years old they leave their groups and try to establish a solitary territory.

During the dry season vast herds of Blue Wildebeest gather and they migrate in search of fresh grass.


Wildebeest feed on a variety of grasses.


After a gestation period of 8 - 9 months, Blue Wildebeest give birth to a single calf. All wildebeest give birth 2 - 3 weeks before the rainy season and within 15 minutes of being born, a youngster is able to stand.

When the calf reaches 4 months old they are weaned, although sometimes they will suckle until they are a year old. Females reach sexual maturity at 1.5 - 2.5 years of age, while males reach sexual maturity at 3 - 4 years of age.


Predators of Blue Wildebeest include lions, african wild dogs, leopards, cheetahs, crocodiles and spotted hyenas.


There are five subspecies of Blue Wildebeest:

Blue Wildebeest
(Connochaetes taurinus taurinus)
They are found in Zambia and to the south and west.

Cookson's Wildebeest
(Connochaetes taurinus cooksoni)
They are found in the Luangwa Valley of Zambia.

Western White-bearded Wildebeest
(Connochaetes taurinus mearnsi)
They are found in Kenya and western Tanzania and they are the smallest subspecies. They are the darkest coloured subspecies.

Johnston's Wildebeest
(Connochaetes taurinus johnstoni)
They are also known as Nyassaland Wildebeest. They are found in southern Tanzania and Mozambique and they are the largest subspecies.

Eastern White-bearded Wildebeest
(Connochaetes taurinus albojubatus)
They are found in Kenya and eastern Tanzania and they are the palest coloured subspecies.

Interesting Facts

Blue Wildebeest are also known as:
Brindled Gnu

Similar Animals

Black Wildebeest


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