Wildebeest Black


(Latin = Connochaetus gnou, Afrikaans = Swartwildebees, German = Weissschwanzgnu)

Numbers: Fairly low
Weight: 60 – 160kg (198 – 352 lb.)
Shoulder height: 120 cm (48in.)
Females horns: Yes

Found mainly in the Free State, overflowing only a little bit to the west and north of the Free State.

Here we have the natural joker of the South African animal scene! Pretty of sheer ugliness, this horse-cum-bull-cum-athlete of the fields just can’t be content with a lazy African scene. Either their heads have to be going up and down, up and down, or their bodies have to be circled around and around, while whirling their long, hairy tails to and fro or their hooves have to be kicking-wayward all the time. If that’s not enough helping to fade away the energy, running at top speed in wide, wide circles, as if in pursuit of something (or flying from something) is the way to go for the black wildebeest, just to return and starting the joker-like behaviour all over again. Their racing reminds of a horse race scene with corresponding tails in the wind and bundling together at maximum speed, which, incidentally, may even exceed that of the Old Turf Club’s betting arena. Just as much, a black wildebeest, jokingly playful most of the time, may suddenly be ignited in fury. Then it’s a bullish beast that may run havoc in the tribe, killing young ones without any discrimination, or ostriches, horses and, of course people (if they would dare to be in the way). Found only in South Africa, it became almost extinct in the nineteenth century, but saved in the twentieth, thanks to concerned farmers and conservationists jointly.