Blue Gnu

Blue Gnu
Blue Gnu

The blue, or brindled, gnu is also known as the wildebeest.

Like white-tailed gnus (Connochaetes gnou), blue gnus live in mixed herds of thirty to five hundred individuals.


During the dry season, they congregate by the tens of thousands and migrate over hundreds of miles in search of water and food.

They follow zebra herds, which graze on tall grasses, leaving the shorter grasses for gnus and other herbivores.

During the mating season, the males try to isolate a small harem from the larger herd to increase their chances of mating without competition.

Both sexes have curved horns; males' are almost twice the size of females'.

Animal Facts

Name: Blue Gnu (Connochaetes taurinus)

Family: Bovidae (Cattle and Relatives)

Range: Southern Kenya to northern South Africa

Habitat: Savanna and open plains

Diet: Grasses, bushes and shrubs

Head and Body Length: 6 to 8 feet (1.8 to 2.4 m)

Tail Length: 24 to 39 inches (60 to 100 cm)

Shoulder Height: 3 to 4.3 feet (1 to 1.3 m)

Weight: 500 to 600 pounds (230 to 275 kg)

Life Cycle: Mating in May; gestation 240 to 260 days, one calf born

Description: Silvery-gray coat with brown hues; long muzzle; horns that extend to the side, upwards and then in; long, black mane; high shoulders; long, black tail

Conservation Status: Lower Risk (Conservation Dependent)

Major Threat: Habitat loss and degradation; hunting

What Can I Do?: Visit the African Wildlife Foundation for information on how you can help.