True Wild Life | Wildebeest | The wildebeest is actually a subspecies of the antelope, despite it's bull-like appearance. There are two known species of wildebeest, both of which are native to Africa. The changing African seasons mean the wildebeest must migrate south in the winter, so the wildebeest can continue to graze on grass. Thousands of wildebeest all tend to migrate at once creating a wildebeest stampede.
The wildebeest is a primary source of prey for many large African mammals, that often pick out the weaker wildebeest from the outside of the herd. Wildebeest generally grow to around 1.5 tall but are relatively defenceless against dominant, carnivorous predators such as lions and crocodiles . The wildebeest are able to sense thunderstorms that are up to 30 miles away and the wildebeest follow these rains across Africa in what is commonly known as the great migration. The wildebeest trek around 30 miles everyday and approximately 1,000 miles a year as the wildebeest follow the rains in order to find the best grass.
When the baby wildebeest are born, they are often able to stand within a matter of minutes and these young wildebeest are soon able to run around and soon learn about the importance of protection in numbers. When the wildebeest are migrating around the African continent, the young wildebeest always stay very close to the mother wildebeest as it is easy for the young wildebeest to get lost when there are so many wildebeest travelling together or be preyed upon by watching predators.
Wildebeest inhabit large plains on the African savanna where there is plenty of food for the wildebeest to eat. Wildebeest are herbivorous animals and graze on grasses, leaves and shoots. Wildebeest live together in large herds in order to protect each other as on their own, wildebeest are defenceless and therefore vulnerable in the African wilderness. When danger is spotted, the wildebeest warn each using groaning calls and then run together creating a stampede, both to escape approaching predators and also to intimidate them.