The hartebeest is a large species of antelope found in sub-Saharan Africa. They once ranged from Northern Africa and the Middle East through the savannas and grasslands of sub-Saharan Africa and South-Central Africa, on down to the South African tip. Thanks to ever increasing agricultural needs, their populations are decreasing and they have to compete more and more with cattle for food. The IUCN lists 1 species as Regionally Extinct.
First the Stats…
Scientific name: Alcelaphus buselaphus
Weight: Up to 350 lbs.
Length: Up to 8 feet
Height: Up to 5 feet, at the shoulder
Lifespan: Up to 15 years
Now on to the Facts!
1.) Their horns measure 18 – 28 inches long!
2.) The hartebeest is diurnal (active during the day).
3.) They can aggregate in herds of about 300 individuals. It has been observed that they can herd into groups of up to 10,000!
4.) Cheetahs, jackals, lions, hyenas, leopards, and hunting dogs are the main predators of these creatures.
5.) Females live in small groups of 5 – 12 individuals. Mature males live a solitary life.
But wait, there’s more on the hartebeest!
6.) Hartebeests reproduce all year round during the rainy season (when food is abundant).
7.) The hartebeest will feed almost entirely on grass and is not very selective about the types of grass either. They are quite tolerant of poor-quality food.
Did you know…?
Even though they are big, the hartebeest is capable of running up to 43 mph!
8.) When females give birth, she isolates herself in the scrub areas and leaves the young calf hidden, only returning to allow the calf to suckle.
9.) Females birth a single calf, usually in the dry season.
10.) The calf is weened at 4 months but tends to stay with mom for up to 3 years.
Now a Short Hartebeest Video!
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