Male kudu antelope use their majestic horns during dominance fight
EmotionsofAfrica Published February 6, 2019
When you spend a lot of time in the African bush as a safari guide, you get to see and learn allot about the behaviour of various animals on a daily basis. Observing animals and getting to understand their common behaviour is key to delivering a great safari experience to our visiting tourists. Every once in a while Mother Nature will surprise even the most experienced safari guides with an unexpected, uncommon or rarely seen sighting in the wild. While guiding a recent safari in the Kruger National Park, we noticed a large cloud of dust hanging over the bush a short distance ahead of us. There were also loud clashing noises coming from the same area. We decided to drive closer and investigate what was going on. When we arrived at the scene, we were stunned by what we saw. Two big male kudu antelope were locked in a serious fight using their incredibly large and powerful horns. We could clearly hear the loud bashing sounds of their horns clashing together. The kudu bulls were evenly matched and were pushing each other around while creating a huge dust cloud. Near the end of the intense fight one kudu bull managed to hook the other male around the neck and dragged him around in a solid grip. This particular fight lasted over half an hour until one male eventually gave up and ran away. In my 10 years of guiding and living in the African bush, this is only the second time ever I have witnessed such an event. After the eland antelope species, the kudu is the world’s second largest antelope. The kudu male has the longest and most impressive horns of all the African antelope. The male kudu is normally not aggressive with each other at all. Usually, dominance is established by a peaceful lateral display. During a lateral display, mature bulls will weigh up their opponents only by a show of their good looks and posture. The biggest and most impressive contender will then peacefully maintain all mating rights with the females while the other contender moves on without any objection. Only under rare circumstances when two animals are equally matched, will they actually fight using their large majestic horns. These fights can also potentially go all the way till death. Watching these majestic antelope doing battle with their magnificent horns was a priceless experience indeed.