Witnessing a Birth

During the first few months of the year, several hundred thousand wildebeest are born on the rich short grass plains of the southern Serengeti.  We had stopped for our mid-morning breakfast break out on the plains and positioned the vehicle just off to the side, where a long line of wildebeest were streaming past towards some fresh grass, recently watered by a shower of rain.

We set up the table and were about to start eating when something caught my eye.  We had been hoping to see a birth during the trip and the ‘glint’ I had seen meant only one thing to me…a birth was taking place!  We all lined up our binoculars and watched as the mother wildebeest dropped to the ground for a few moments and then stood up again.  As she got back up she gave birth.

I was timing the whole process and it was 2:45 seconds from the time the calf was born until it stood up and was walking.  Within 4.5 minutes the mother was once again trotting with the herd with her shiny wet calf at her side.  Quite incredible to say the least…we watched as they headed past us on what was to hopefully be one of many annual migrations for the little one!

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