Red Hartebeest

Alcelaphus buselaphus
Shoulder height: 125cm (50in.)
Body weight: 105 - 182kg (231 - 400lb.)
Pregnancy : 8 months (October to December)
Number of young: 1
Female with horns
Fairly abundant

Red Hartebeest are animals of the plains and they favour the open grasslands, the floodplains and the vleis. Not dependent on water, they inhabit the sand plains by preference. With their hooves they dig for moisture-rich roots and tubers. And when the first rains have fallen far away, they move there in their hundreds to breathe the air of spring and to eat the lush green grass. Easily outdistancing most of their enemies, red hartebeest do not really rely on cover except to hide their light sand-colored calves. Both sexes carry the promently-ridged elbowed-shaped horns, which are heavier in the bulls. Very inquisitive, a herd of hartebeest will stand and stare at an unfamiliar object approaching, even a possible enemy. If startled they rapidly swing round, circling in a bewildered and apparently confused way for a second or two, and then shoot off with great speed, frequently bouncing stiff-legged in zig-zag fashion.