KUDU FACT FILE

by Wildlife South Africa


KUDU (Southern Greater Kudu)
Latin Name: Tragelaphus strepsiceros
Afrikaans: Koedoe
 
Distribution
 
Kudus are found throughout South Africa with large numbers occurring outside conservation areas.
 
Habitat
 
They can be found in a very wide habitat range including hilly areas, slopes of mountains with trees, woodlands, bush thickets, riverine areas, bushveld and wooded savannah areas.
 
 
Habits
 
Mainly gathers in small herds (3 to 20) - usually cows with their young. Adult bulls are solitary or in bachelor groups. Adult Bulls that have won the right to mate will join herds of females and their young in mating season.
 
Difference between male (Bull) and female (Cow)
 
Adult bulls have large horns and are much heavier and also larger than the hornless cows. 
 
Mass (adults)
 
Bull 190 to 270 kg’s
Cow 120 to 210 kg’s
 
Lifespan
 
About 14 years.
 
Breeding / Gestation
 
Usually a single calf is born in summer from November to January after a gestation period of 7 months.
 
Diet
 
Kudus are predominantly browsers (only eat leaves and pods). Leaves and fresh growth of plants and shrubs, seedpods, but may nibble on new growth of grass (shoots).
 
 
Enemies
 
Humans, Lion, Leopard, Spotted Hyena, Cheetah, Wild dog, Nile crocodile.
 
Interesting facts
 
Kudus are widespread in South Africa and most private game farms have kudus on their property. They are very agile and often jump over fences higher than 3 meters. After birth the cows hide their young for a few days, until strong enough to run with the herd. Kudu have very large ears, hence their acute hearing. The kudu is one of the 3 most hunted species in South Africa by local hunters primarily for their meat and to make biltong (dried meat or jerky). Adult bulls are sought after for their massive horns (mainly foreign trophy hunters).