Hartebeest, a large African antelope. It stands about four feet (1.2 m) high at the shoulder. The hartebeest is grayish brown. Its slender face is marked with black, its hindquarters with yellowish patches. Heavy, ringed horns curve upward from the head in a U-shape, then bend backward. Hartebeests feed chiefly on grass and seldom require water. They have keen eyesight and great speed. The red, or Cape, hartebeest once roamed in large herds from Zimbabwe southward but is now almost extinct. Lichtenstein's hartebeest is still fairly abundant in southern and eastern Africa.
Hartebeests belong to the family Bovidae. The red hartebeest is Alcelaphus bucephalus; Lichtenstein's hartebeest, A. lichtensteini.