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The blue wildebeest, also referred to as the common wildebeest or brindled gnu, is a large African antelope. There are two species, the blue and black. Safari Club International recognizes four sub-species, including the Blue, Cookson, Nyasa and White-bearded wildebeest.
These large antelope have powerful front shoulders, giving it a bull-like appearance and large head. Wildebeest can weigh up to 600 pounds and stand 4.5 feet at the shoulder. Both male and female grow horns that curve outward and hook back inward, ending in sharp points, with the bulls being much heavier. The wildebeest is bluish gray with dark vertical stripes and a dark shaggy mane and a long tail. They have a beard that varies in color with the sub-species from white to black.
Wildebeest are found on the grassy savanna and woodlands of eastern, southern, and central Africa. Massive herds are found on the Serengeti of Tanzania and Kenya, where they migrate hundreds of miles in search of fresh grass. Wildebeest herds are often accompanied by zebras. They are active night and day, grazing on grass, shoots and leaves. Wildebeest are preyed upon by all of the African big predators, including lions, hyena and wild dogs.
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