Tragelaphus strepsiceros

Kudu (Tragelaphus strepsiceros) bull sporting an impressive set of horns.
Standing 1.4m at the shoulder the kudu is the tallest antelope in southern Africa after the eland and the males possess the largest horns of all antelope. Live in savannah woodland but will also inhabit more open grassland as long as there is woodland cover nearby.

Conservation status : Least concern
Shoulder height : Male 1.4 m, Female 1.25 m
Weight : Male 250 kg, Female 160 kg
Life span : 15 years
Gestation : 9 months
Young : 1

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Some plants, notably acacias, will increase the amount of bitter tasting tannin in their leaves. This happens within 15 minutes of an animal browsing, and as a result kudu have learnt to move onto the next plant after only a short time of feeding.

From a standing position the kudu can jump 2m high fences and when fleeing from danger they can clear obstacles as high as 3m.

Whilst kudu bulls become sexually mature at three years old they can’t compete with the older males for access to the females until they are 6 to 8 years old.

There are twice as many adult female kudus than there are males. This is due to greater predation of the bulls and deaths at the end of the breeding season caused by exhaustion, malnutrition and injury.

If a kudu is spooked by a predator when it is in the open it will run for cover, turn so it can see the threat and then freeze which allows its camouflage to take effect.

The male kudu has the largest horns of any antelope. The record is 1.76m along the outer curve with the average being 1.19m.

Fighting may occur when two kudu bulls are equally matched. Fights would take the form of lunging, horn clashes and wrestling with locked horns. The latter may result in the death of both animals when their horns become locked together.

Kudus can point individual ears in different directions to help detect threats which may be nearby.