Golden Wildebeest

RGB Golden Wildebeest
RGB Golden Wildebeest
RGB Golden Wildebeest

Physical Characteristics

Current breeding bull: Blitz
Roland Ward measurement: 24 inches
Age: 3 years old (2016)
Origin: Lumarie – Jaques Malan
Current herd size: 22
Consists of:
Breeding Bull: 1
Mature Golden Cows: 3
Mature F1 split cows: 15
Mature F2 split cows: 4
Young golden Bulls: 3 (20 months on sale now)
Origin of cows: Barry York and Shelanti

Body Length: 170-240 cm / 5.6-8 ft.

Shoulder Height: 115-145 cm / 3.8-4.8 ft.

Tail Length: 60-100 cm / 2-3.3 ft.

Weight: 140-290 kg / 308-638 lb.

Colour: Golden blonde or red in colour. The underparts are slightly darker than the main coat. Vertical bands mark the neck and forequarters, and from a distance may seem to be wrinkles in the skin. Young are born tawny brown, and begin to their adult coloration at 2 months of age. There is a slight hump above the shoulders, with a slight slope in the body towards the rear. The front of the convex face is covered with bristly gold hair. The long, horse-like tail is reddish-gold, as is the mane which extends from the horns, over the nape to the shoulders. A flowing ‘beard’ is present in both sexes, and appears almost like a dewlap.

Horns: Male and females have horns. The horns are very similar in form to those of a female African Buffalo in that they are slightly broadened at the base and without ridges. Extending outwards to the side and then curving up and slightly inwards, they may grow 30-40 cm / 1-1.3 feet in females, while in males they may be up to 83 cm / 2.7 feet long along their curve.

Reproduction and Development

Gestation Period: 8-8.5 months.
Litter size: 1
Weaning: After about 4 months, although some suckling may occur until 1 year of age.
Sexual Maturity: Females at 1.5-2.5 years, males at 3-4 years.
Life span: Up to 20 years.

Births are extremely seasonal, with all births occurring in a period of 2-3 weeks before the rains. This flood of youngsters prevents predators from decimating the new population, as they might if births were spread out over a longer period of time. A young wildebeest can stand just 15 minutes after birth, and can follow its mother shortly thereafter.

Ecology and Behaviour

Activity in the brindled gnu is concentrated in the morning and late afternoon, with the hot middle hours of the day being spent resting. Despite their awkward appearance, brindled gnu are extremely agile. When alarmed, they will prance about, waving their tails and pawing the ground. If a potential threat approaches close enough, they will run for a short distance then turn back to reassess the situation, repeating the situation as needed. When pressed they have been clocked running over 80 km/ph. While the large, mixed migratory herds receive much attention, with thousands of animals making long treks, sedentary herds are also found, with a home range of about 1 square kilometer. Adult males are territorial, and may occupy their territories for a few weeks or for the entire year. Size of territory varies from about 2.5-4 acres, and the boundaries are marked with dung heaps, pre-orbital gland secretions, and the pawing of the earth. The average distance between these male’s averages 100-140 meters, although this may vary from 9 – 1600 meters depending on the habitat. Competition between males is comprised of displays, loud grunting calls, and shoving with the horns, although rarely are these serious fights. Only males with a territory may mate. Unusual for most bovids, with the exception of cattle, wildebeest enjoy rolling in sand and dirt. When possible, brindled gnu will drink twice daily.

Family group: Females and young in groups of 10 – 1000 animals. Young males (under 3 years of age) form small bachelor groups, while mature males are generally solitary.

Diet: Grasses.

Main Predators: Lion, Spotted Hyena, Cape hunting dog, Leopard, Cheetah and Crocodile.

Habitat and Distribution

Open and brush-covered savanna in south and east Africa.