Kudu – tragelaphus strepsiceros

Large populations still to be found in the Luangwa Valley (Zambia as well as Moremi. Chobe, Mana Pools and Hwange National Park

Description

Large handsome antelope – grey brown to rufous in colour – sides clearly marked with 6 to 10 vertical white stripes – large rounded ears – bushy tail – long spiral horns of the male – distinct white band across the face – white spots on cheeks

Mass – 250kg (male) 180kg (female)
Horn Length – 160cm (average)
Shoulder Height – 150cm (male) 135cm (female)

Breeding

Most births occur during summer months (the main rutting period being mid-winter) – a single calf born after a gestation period of around 210 days.

Herd Strength

Small family groups – generally not more than 12 consisting of females and calves. Males join the group only for mating purposes.

Life Expectancy

14 years

Characteristics

Mainly diurnal – most active in the mornings and late afternoons.
Run with their heads level to the ground with the horns laid back to avoid being entangled in branches.

Despite their impressive weight they can easily clear 2 meters when jumping.
Their acute hearing is accentuated by an ability to turn their large rounded ears in almost any direction

Kudu are ruminants (they chew the cud) and have a specially adapted stomach divided into 4 sections which emable themto digest plants.
Enzymes necessary to break down the vegetable matter are provided by micro organisms which live in the large stomach.

Defense Strategies

their warning cry is a harsh bark – predators include leopard, cheetah and lion.

Feeding

Predominantly browsers – will eat grass under exceptional circumstances