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Greater Kudu
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Tragelaphus strepsiceros
ORDER: Artiodactyla
FAMILY: Bovidae
RANGE: East, Central and South Africa
HABITAT: Mainly woodland and thickets
DIET: Browses and grazes on foliage, grasses, tubers and fruit
ENEMIES: Lions, hyenas

The greater kudu is Africa’s second-tallest antelope, with spectacular spiraled horns on the male, averaging about 48 inches long, although the longest of record measured 72 inches. The body is narrow and long-legged; the head is proportionally small, with huge cupped ears. The coat is smooth, except the spinal crest in both sexes and the beard in the male. The body color is reddish-brown to blue-gray, with six-to-10 white body stripes, a white nose chevron and cheek spots, dark garters on the upper legs and a black-tipped tail with a white underside. The number of white lines along the body sides may be diagnostic in determining the area of origin.

Greater kudu males weigh about 550 pounds and stand about 55 inches at the shoulder. Females are smaller. Gregarious, the adult females and youngsters generally live in herds of six-to-20 individuals. Adult males live alone, or in-groups of two-to-four, and there is competition for the females. Active by day or night, greater kudu are most often seen at dawn and dusk. When disturbed, they usually stop and listen, then may move away quietly, or dash off after giving a loud, sharp alarm bark, similar to that of a baboon.

Reproduction occurs throughout the year, and a single offspring is born after nine months of gestation. Calves join the maternal herd after hiding for two weeks and continue to lie-out at night for another four-to-five weeks. The juveniles are nutritionally self-sufficient at six months, but stay in the maternal herd, females indefinitely; males move out in their second or third year.