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Red Hartebeest

Alcelaphus buselaphus

Description - Other Names - Distribution - Taxonomy

Red Hartebeest (Alcelaphus buselaphus) Silhouette

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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


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


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