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Greater kudu

Greater kudu
Photo Information
Copyright: Doreen Thomas (Doreen) Silver Note Writer [C: 0 W: 0 N: 14] (50)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2010-10-11
Categories: Mammals
Camera: Sony Cybershot DSC H20
Exposure: f/4, 1/400 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2010-10-22 5:54
Viewed: 3184
Points: 6
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
It was a very hot day in Kruger Park (47C) so I don't blame this kudu for finding a shady spot.

Greater Kudu, "Tragelaphus strepsiceros"

The name of the animal was imported into English in the 18th century from isiXhosa iqudu, via Afrikaans koedoe.

Lesser Kudus come from the savannas near acacia and commiphora shrubs. They have to rely on thickets for protection, so they are hardly ever seen in the open. Their drab brown and striped pelts help them disappear in scrub environments.

Like many other antelope, male kudu can be found in bachelor groups, but they are more likely to be solitary. Their dominance displays tend not to last long and are generally fairly peaceful, consisting of one male making himself look big by making his hair stand on end. When males do have a face-off, they will lock their horns in a competition to determine the stronger puller; kudus' necks enlarge during the mating season for this reason. Sometimes two competing males are unable to unlock their horns and, if unable to disengage, will die of starvation or dehydration. Males are seen with females only in the mating season, when they join in groups of 5-15 kudus, including offspring. Calves grow very quickly and at six months are fairly independent of their mothers.

Pregnant females will leave the herd to give birth to a single offspring. She will leave the newborn lying hidden for 45 weeks while coming back only to nurse it, which is the longest amount of time for any antelope species. Then the calf will start meeting its mother for short periods. At 3 or 4 months the calf will be with its mother constantly, and at about 6 months they will permanently join the group.

When threatened, the kudu will often run away rather than fight. Wounded bulls have been known to charge the attacker, hitting the attacker with their sturdy horn base rather than stabbing it. Wounded females can keep running for many miles without stopping to rest for more than a minute. They are great kickers and are capable of breaking a wild dog's or jackal's neck or back. They are good jumpers and can clear a 5-foot fence from a standing start.

Kudus are browsers and eat leaves and shoots. In dry seasons, they eat wild watermelons and other fruit for the liquid and natural sugars they provide. The lesser Kudu is less dependent on water sources than the greater kudu.

Predators and threats
Many predators, such as big cats, wild dogs, hyenas and pythons hunt kudu and their young. Kudu numbers are also affected by humans hunting them for their meat, hides and horns, or using their habitats for charcoal burning and farming.

Kudus are highly susceptible to the rinderpest virus, and many scientists think recurring epidemics of the disease have reduced kudu populations in East Africa.

Kudus are highly susceptible to rabies in times of extended drought. They have been known to enter farm houses and other buildings when infected. Infected animals appear tame and have a distinct frothing at the mouth. They are fearless and bulls may sometimes attack humans who get too close to them.

Kudu meat is similar to venison, with a slight gamey/liver like flavor. It is a very dry and lean meat, so when cooked, it needs to be done carefully so as not to dry out the meat and make it difficult to eat. When prepared correctly, it can be very healthy because of its low fat content.

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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To dmark11: Kruger tempsDoreen 1 10-22 22:12
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Critiques [Translate]

Very nice shot of the Kudu, 47C are you kidding?

Dear Doreen
Majestic Kudu Male in very good condition for the end of winter and hardly any food left.

The heat even here at the Tzaneen Dam is quite high for this time at the year 43 C max, though we had the previous week-end the first spring rains, which were very welcome.

I like your photo very much in every aspect - particularly I appreciate the fact, that you left the bush as it is - ""colourless"" some photo-shop jongleurs will say - the natural late winter look of the veld!

Have a nice evening and Sunday - wherever you might be and hopefully some rain.

Warm Regards

Hello Doreen
nice capture of this Kudu from the Kruger Park, i like his relaxing pose, the whole animal is sharply detailed, good light and very interesting environment
great note too
Have a good night

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