Monday, June 22, 2009

Gnu Kid On The Savannah (GKOTS) - Etosha National Park, Namibia

Connochaetes taurinus aka the Gnu (pronounced "G-new" or just "new"), aka the Blue Wildebeest (for the bluish/grey sheen of it's hide), aka the Brindled Gnu. Thank God for scientific names.

Often described as an "ungainly" ungulate, wildebeests grow to 1.7m at the shoulder, and weigh up to 380kg.

The front-heavy wildebeest reminds me of the Orcs in the Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. They look rather clumsy but are in fact quite agile on their hooves. Healthy adults are renown for taking on and beating the crap out of predators such as lions. On the other hand, in terms of observation and photography, these were amongst the most skittish creatures around.

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