Kudu is a kind of a antelope. There are two types of kudu: Lesser Kudu and Greater Kudu. The two of them live in zones described by thick shrubberies or in the backwoods. Kudu can be found in eastern and southern pieces of the Africa. Albeit neighborhood individuals chase them for their meat and horns (which are utilized as music instruments, holders for nectar or as an image of the male power), they are not recorded as imperiled species.
Greater kudus are one of the largest antelopes.
Kudus usually reach 4 to 5 feet in height. Males are larger than females: they have 495 to 787 pounds, while females have 396 to 517 pounds.
They produce one of the loudest sounds made by antelope in the form of a gruff bark.
Kudu is easily recognized by its long, spiral horns. They can reach 72 inches in length, making 2 ½ twists.
Kudu horns have spirals, which allow males to spar by interlocking horns.
Both species of the kudu have white lateral stripes and spots on their body. They can be bluish gray, grayish brown or colored like rust. Also, both species have mane on a dorsal (back) side of the body, which follows the line of the spine.
Some reports show male kudus found with locked horns, even in death.
Characteristic coloration of their body provides protection against the predators. When kudu sense a danger, it becomes motionless. Its body color blends with the environment and predators cannot recognize it easily.
Adult kudus are an important food source for many larger predators, such as lions and spotted hyenas.
Kudus are hunted by lions, leopards and wild dogs. Cheetah, pythons, eagles and smaller wild cats often prey on young kudus.
The greater kudu is much sought after by hunters, both for the magnificent horns of bulls and more generally for their high-quality meat.
Besides predators and humans, kudus are susceptible to the rinderpest virus, which eliminated large number of kudus during several epidemics in the past.
Kudus are one of the most commonly hunted species in southern Africa, and generate the highest proportion (13.2%) of hunting income in South Africa.
Kudu is herbivorous animal (eats only plants) which consumes mainly grass, roots, leaves, fruits and tubers.
Kudu are highly alert and notoriously hard to approach.
Kudu can survive long period without water. Part of the moisture can be compensated by the food rich in water, such as wild melon.
The common name kudu is derived from the indigenous Khoikhoi language of Southern Africa.
Kudu is one of the loudest antelopes. It produces gruff like barking sound which is used for communication.
The scientific name is derived from Greek: Tragos denotes a he-goat and elaphos a deer; Strephis means ‘twisting’ and Keras means ‘horn’.
1Male kudus usually live solitary life or rarely form bachelor groups that travel together. Dominance in the group is established via fight. It may end up fatally for both participants if their horns lock together, preventing kudus to separate from each other. Dominance can be displayed by positioning the body sideways (body looks bigger) in front of the other males.
The horns do not begin to grow until the bull reaches 6–12 months, twisting once at around two-years-of-age and not reaching the full two-and-a-half twists until the age of six.
Females live in the small groups composed of adult females and their offspring. Groups usually have between six and ten members.
Male kudus are rarely physically aggressive but may spar during the courtship season, shoving one another with their horns.
Mating season starts at the end of the rainy season. Pregnancy lasts eight months and ends with a single baby.
The traditional sport of Kudu dung-spitting (Bokdrol Spoeg in Afrikaans) is practiced in the South African Afrikaner community.
Female leaves the group and isolate herself and the baby for the next couple of months.
With only 118,000 kudus remaining in the wild, kudus have a ‘near threatened conservation status’ according the African Wildlife Foundation.
First four or five weeks of the life, young kudu spends lying in the grass. After that, calf starts to follow its mother during short period of time each day. At the age of three to four months, young kudu follows its mother all the time. When calf becomes able to follow its mother constantly, they will return back to the herd.
Local people use their horns in rituals, to store honey or to make instruments out of them.
Young kudus grow rapidly and they are able to take care of themselves as soon as they turn six months.
Greater kudu can be spotted in most southern African parks.
Kudu lives 7 to 8 years in the wild and up to 23 years in the captivity.