The ungainly gnu (pronounced “g-new” or simply “new”) earned the Afrikaans name wildebeest, or “wild beast,” for the menacing appearance presented by its large head, shaggy mane, pointed beard, and sharp, curved horns. In fact, the wildebeest is better described as a reliable source of food for the truly menacing predators of the African savanna: lions, cheetahs, wild dogs, and hyenas.
The blue wildebeest is a member of the antelope family, although its heavy build and disproportionately large forequarters make it look more bovine. Blue wildebeests can reach 8 feetin length, stand 4.5 feet tall at the shoulders and weigh up to 600 pounds. Both males and females grow horns.
Their habitat comprises the grassy plains and open woodlands of central, southern,