Golden Wildebeest (Connochaetes gnou)
Average Weight Male: 180kg
Average Weight Female: 155kg
Shoulder Height Male: 120 cm
Shoulder Height Female: 108 cm
Mating Season: March/April (may differ from area to area)
An exotic mutation of the black and blue wildebeest, the golden wildebeest, or golden gnu as it was named by the Khoi (Hottentot) is a beautiful animal and highly sought after by hunters from around the world. Like its cousins, it was named for the loud snorting sound it makes. The colour variation is caused by a recessive gene, similar to that which causes blue eyes in humans.
These beautiful animals have a distinctive golden colour, often with dark brown vertical stripes across the chest. Apart from the colour difference, they resemble black wildebeest. They are stocky and ox-like in appearance with a golden beard and mane and round, curved horns and pointed ears. They have long lashes and hair on their noses. Their large chests and shoulders make them appear much larger from a distance than they really are up close. A mature bull weighs approximately 300 lbs and stands up to 50″ tall at shoulder height.
Cows and calves are typically found in groups of between ten and 150 with one dominant male. Territorial breeding bulls tend to be mostly solitary. The male golden wildebeest form bachelor groups consisting of non-active dominant adult bulls and young bulls.
As with the black wildebeest, both male and female golden wildebeest have horns, with the cow horns being narrower and shorter. Adult bulls have heavily bossed horns. The bulls are typically larger and heavier than the cows.