Lesser Kudu


Lesser Kudu stand about a metre at the shoulder and the males weigh 92-108 kg (202-238 lb) and the females 56-70 kg (123-154 lb).

The 'Lesser' males are grey-brown with short white spinal crest, but no beard, compared to the 'Greater' specie.

Females and their young are red-brown and darkening with age. Both have about 11 to 15 white stripes on their backs and two white tufts on the underside of their necks. Males have a small mane and horns of about 70 centimetres with one twist.

Lesser Kudu live in dry thornbush for safety and seldom ventures into grassland or scattered bush. As a browser the diet includes many different plants, mainly foliage of trees and bushes, seeds, fruits, vines, and a little green grass.

The existence of exclusive and long-lasting association between females sets them apart from most other antelopes.

There is no consistent leadership or rank hierarchy, nor any social grooming between females. Groups often merge but separate again without exchanging members. Herds tend to be larger in the rainy season but total at most 24 animals.

The females form small groups with their offspring from 6 up to 10 members. The males usually only join for a short time during the mating season.

Predators are lions, spotted hyena, leopard and wild dogs; young calves are also vulnerable to jackels.

Like the Greater kudu, the 'Lesser' is adapted at avoiding detection, and at escaping capture. Making tremendous bounds through and over the vegetation they have an excellent chance of escape.

Good places to see them are Tsavo National Park, Samburu and Shaba National Reserves and Meru National Park.

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