Hartebeest Facts

Hartebeest Facts
Hartebeest is a type of large antelope that belongs to the bovid family. There are 8 subspecies of hartebeest that can be found in the eastern, southern and western parts of Africa. Hartebeest inhabits open grasslands, sparsely wooded areas and savannas. Number of hartebeests in the wild is dropping due to lack of food (they compete with cattle for food) and intense hunt of these animals because of their meat. One subspecies of hartebeest is already extinct and three are listed as critically endangered.
Interesting Hartebeest Facts:
Hartebeest can reach 5 feet in length and 165 to 350 pounds of weight. Males are larger than females.
Hartebeest is covered with short coat that can be tan, golden brown, reddish brown or nearly black colored. Dark-brown or black tail is covered with long hairs.
Hartebeest has elongated head, narrow face, pointed ears, humped shoulders, downward sloping backs and long, thin legs.
Both males and females have curved, 18 to 28 inches long horns. They are closely set to each other at the base and covered with rings on the bottom part.
Hartebeest is diurnal animal (active during the day).
Hartebeest is herbivore (plant-eater) whose diet is based almost entirely on the grass.
Despite clumsy appearance, hartebeest is actually one of the fastest antelopes. It can reach the speed of 43 miles per hour when it needs to escape from the predators.
Natural enemies of young hartebeests are cheetahs and jackals, while lions, hyenas, leopards and hunting dogs target adult hartebeests.
Females live in small groups composed of 5 to 12 animals. Mature males live solitary life. Animals of both sex gather in large groups during dry periods of year when food and water become scarce.
Males are territorial and aggressive during the mating season. They use dung to mark the borders of their territory.
Hartebeests can reproduce all year round in the wet areas or during the rainy season (when food is abundant) in arid regions.
Pregnancy in females lasts 8 months and ends with one baby (calf). Female leaves the herd and gives birth in dense, shrubby area. Baby remains hidden during the first two weeks of the life (when it is weak and fragile). After that period, it becomes ready to join the herd with its mother.
Even though young hartebeest depends on the mother's milk only during the first 4 months of its life, it usually stays with its mother until the age of 3 years. Young males leave their native herds and gather in bachelor herds before they become strong enough to occupy their own territories and start to reproduce.
Hartebeest reaches sexual maturity at the age of 1 and 4 years.
Hartebeest can survive 11 to 20 years in the wild and up to 19 years in the captivity.

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