• Thursday, Jan 27, 2022
  • Last Update : 03:32 am

Wildebeest calf born at Bangabandhu Safari Park in Gazipur

  • Published at 07:20 pm July 14th, 2021
Gazipur safari park wild beast
The new wildebeest calf roaming in the forest of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Safari Park in Gazipur Collected

The population of wildebeests at the park has now risen to 17, with five new calves being born this year

A wildebeest calf was recently born at the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Safari Park in Gazipur.

The population of wildebeest at the park has now risen to 17, with five new calves being born this year, confirmed the park's officer-in-charge and assistant forest conservator Tabibur Rahman on Wednesday.

“Due to the coronavirus pandemic, people have not been able to visit the safari park. As a result, the animals here got the much-needed time, space and privacy to procreate,” said the park official.

He also said the continuation of optimal breeding of wildebeests at the park will reduce the need to acquire the animal from abroad.

Wildlife Supervisor Sarwar Hossain Khan said the park authority had acquired different species of adult wildebeests between 2013 and 2015. “So far, two of them have died of old age.”

A little about wildebeests

Female wildebeests give birth to one calf in the centre of the herd, rather than finding an isolated place, as many antelope species do. Once a calf is delivered, the mother begins to lick it. After six minutes, the calf is able to stand on its feet and attempts to be nursed. It is very important that the mother stays close to her newborn for the first two days in order to assure that the calf imprints on its mother, which begins with the first suckling.

Newborns are yellowish-brown but change to adult colour at about 2 months. A calf suckles from its mother for at least four months, though it begins eating grass after about 10 days.

Wildebeest thrive in areas that are neither too wet nor too dry, with their range extending from the equator to the tip of South Africa. The blue wildebeest, known as the brindled gnu, ranges from Kenya to northern South Africa. They prefer the dense bushlands, open grasslands and woodland floodplains of the southern savanna.

The male wildebeests reach adolescence in two years and females after 16 months. Wildebeests can live up to 20 years in the natural environment and up to 24 years in an enclosed environment.

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