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Meet The Greater Kudu, The African Antelope With Symmetrical Spiral Horns

Native to south and east Africa, these antelopes are herbivores and can be found in the woodlands foraging for shoots and leaves. Thankfully, they are protected by most countries on the continent so these stunning animals can still be found in large numbers in their territories. Especially in reserves such as the famous Kruger National Park.

The greater kudu cuts an impressive figure with their grand stature and symmetrical, spiral horns. Native to eastern and southern Africa, these woodland antelopes are herbivores that spend much of their time foraging for shoots and leaves. This beautiful animal can still be found in great numbers in the southern part of their territory, as they are protected in many countries and exist in large numbers on reserves like Kruger National Park.

As one of the larger antelope species, an adult male can weigh anywhere between 260 to 700 pounds and stand up to 60 inches tall at the shoulder. Perhaps one of their most impressive features is their twisting horns, which only the males possess. They’ll typically form two to two-and-a-half twists and reach, on average, up to 47 inches if straightened. One male has even been recorded as having horns that are 73.87 inches long! These horns begin to grow when the bull is between six and 12 months old and will reach their full length by the time the bull is six years old.

But even though these horns could do some damage, the greater kudu is generally not an aggressive animal. Occasionally, males will lock horns—particularly if they are the same size and stature. In these cases, dominance is determined when one male stands sideways to make himself look as big as possible and the other backs off. In the rare case that no one backs down, they can remain locked until they starve to ᴅᴇᴀтн.

Kudus tend to keep out of wide, open spaces and their stripes help them blend into the vegetation. They will stand completely motionless to keep themselves hidden, even under the blazing sun. This shields them from their main predators, which are lions, African dogs, and spotted hyenas. They aren’t as quick as the other kudu species, the lesser kudu, so rather than escape over open terrain, they’ll leap through shrubs and around small trees to shake predators.

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