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Grand Koudou © MNHN - F-G Grandin

The greater kudu

The greater kudu, Tragelaphus strepsiceros, is a herbivorous mammal from the Bovidae family and lives in the African woodland savanna.


Class, order and family :
Mammalia, Artiodactyla, Bovidae
Life span :
up to 14 - 20 years in captivity
Size & Weight :
1 – 1.5 m (shoulder height), 120 - 210 kg for females and 190 - 300 kg for males
Gestation period :
7 - 8 months, one calf per litter
Natural habitat :
woodland savanna, forest
Diet :
vegetarian – grass, leaves, fruit
Statut UICN : 

Least Concern (LC)


The greater kudu is a sociable animal. The females live in groups with their offspring. The males live in herds of two to ten antelopes. Both sexes gather together during the mating season. The female gives birth in the tall grass where her calf will remain hidden for two weeks before joining the other members. The mother will lick the calf to remove any scents which could attract predators.
The greater kudu is most active in the mornings and evenings. When the sun is at its hottest, it keeps a low profile, resting in the shade of a tree or a bush, most often near water. It is a peaceful animal.

Distinctive features

Like the female, the male has large ears giving it excellent hearing, a ridge of hair on its back and a coat streaked with 6 to 10 vertical white stripes. However, it does differ in that it has a fringe of hair running from its neck down to its chest as well as a pair of long spiral horns which can grow from 1.20 – 1.80 m.
Its hooves make roaming in rough and wooded terrain very easy. Despite its bulk, it is agile and able to leap over obstacles 2.50 m tall, easily escaping from its predators. However, on flat ground, it runs slowly and awkwardly, making it easy prey.