Cumbria Crack

Rarely-seen baby Wildebeest meets visitors

Newborn calf

Visitors at the Lake District Wildlife Park near Keswick have been meeting its newest resident – a leggy young Black Wildebeest, who is one of just a handful to be born in the UK in the last 20 years.

Part of the antelope family, Black Wildbeests live in large herds on the open plains and grasslands of East and South Africa and are famous for their mass migrations of up to 1000 miles.

The Wildlife Park is one of only three locations in the country where people can see these unusual looking creatures with large manes, curved horns and box-shaped heads.

The young Wildebeest named William was born earlier this summer and visitors can now see him grazing in the fields on site. He could walk as soon as he was born and will eventually grow to around 4 feet tall and weigh up to 400 pounds.

Young Wildebeest with mum Layla

Parents Brian and Layla are long-term residents at the Lake District Wildlife Park and this is their second calf, after an elder brother was born three years ago.

Education and Marketing Co-ordinator, Lucy Dunn says, “Brian is a very proud and protective dad. He is a bit of a character and he can be often be seen stomping his hooves and making a very distinctive call. But the newest addition William, although still staying close to his mum is growing in confidence too.

“Newquay Zoo and Longleat Safari Park are the only two other places that you can see Black Wildebeests in the UK, so it’s brilliant to see our Wildebeest family continuing to grow and thrive here in the North of England.”

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