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In praise of wildebeest

29 Mar 2010 / 1 Comment / in natural world, travels

Some people think they’re ugly and stupid, but I think blue wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus) are marvellous and handsome creatures.

wildebeest scratching

What stripes! Such lovely beards! And crazy tails!wildebeest herd

One of the reasons we went to East Africa last month was to see the wildebeest at the time when they were giving birth. A wildebeest calf can be literally up and running alongside its mum within four minutes of being born. And they need to be; hyenas, lions, cheetahs and leopards all have a taste for them.

wildebeest mum and calf

We had the privilege of witnessing these magnificent bovines in their thousands, as far as the eye can see, in Tanzania’s Serengeti national park, surely the greatest game show of all.

wildebeest Serengeti

They remind us what it was once like on our planet, actually not so long ago, when huge herds of herbivores still roamed the open grasslands, before humans wiped them out and gobbled up those wild places for themselves.

wildebeest migration

Long may the wildebeest herds continue their epic journeys through what little of our planet is left for them.

wildebeest on road

Photos: Moth Clark

One Response to In praise of wildebeest

  1. David Brooks says:

    I envy you and Moth. To see such beautiful, NOBLE! creatures in their habitat. Where they belong. Ugly? No, the only ugly thing is what we keep doing to them. Not to end on a negative note. Amazing photos! Thanks so much to you both for sharing this.

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