Cattle-like, appears to be sulky. Characteristic beard, hair on the nose. A distinctive long – almost white – horse’s tail. Both male and female have horns.
The male is larger than the female. Male horns are larger and heavier.
Found in open plains with water: grass plains of the Free State, Northwest and Mpumalanga Highveld. In the past, occurred in abundance in the Karoo areas of the Northern, Central and North Eastern Cape Province. Dependent on consistent water supplies.
Gregarious. Female herds, bachelor herds and territorial males can be distinguished. A territorial male is closely attached to its territory throughout the year, marking it with urine and glandular excretions. It is the only male that mates. Female herds are allowed to pass freely through his territory. Threatening behaviour includes pawing or horning the ground and kneeling, however, serious fights are rare. Herds are active early in the morning and late in the afternoon. They rest during the heat of the day and these resting periods become shorter during winter.
Grass, also Karoo bushes. Drinks water regularly, usually in the late afternoon.
Snorts and a loud ‘ghe-nu’ sound by territorial males.
A single calf is born from December to January after a gestation period of approximately 8 months.
The lifespan for the White-tailed gnu is approximately 20 years.