Red Hartebeest (Alcelaphus buselaphus)

Red Hartebeest (Alcelaphus buselaphus) Silhouette

Quick stats of the Red Hartebeest

  • Diet: - Herbivore
  • Shoulder Height: - 1.18 m
  • Weight: - Male - 156 kg
  • Weight: - Female - 135 kg
  • Lifespan - 15 years


Red Hartebeest © C Du Plessis

Found in south western Africa, the red hartebeest (or cape hartebeest) lives in open grassland to semi desert. With goatlike eyes and a long, clumsy face, the red hartebeest is easily identified.

They have a good sense of hearing and smell, which make up for their poor sense of sight. Whenever hartebeest are alarmed, they get panicky and look around in confusion before running away from any danger. Once running, the hartebeest can reach a speed of 55km/h, in a graceful zigzagging motion. They have an unusual sense of direction and will locate water and good grazing great distances away.

Males are highly territorial and will fight viciously to keep their mates. After a gestation period of 8 months, pregnant females will leave the herd and find a safe shelter where they give birth to a single calf.


Other Names for the Red Hartebeest

  • Rooihartbees


Distribution map of the Red Hartebeest
Distribution map of the Red Hartebeest

Taxonomy of the Red Hartebeest

  • Order - Artiodactyla
  • Family - Bovidae
  • Sub Family - Alcelaphinae
  • Genus - Alcelaphus
  • Species - Alcelaphus buselaphus

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