The Tsessebe bulls are quite bulky, weighing in at 140kg and measure an impressive 1.2 metres at the shoulders, and they are only slightly larger than the cows who weigh up to 120kg. However, both grow horns, but on the bull they are slightly heavier and appear in a ‘half-moon’ shape. The colour pattern on both sexes have purple blotches on the shoulders and are dark face, with the upper body appearing in a reddish-brown colour. Tsessebe are grazers who eat a wide range of grasses but prefer the leaf over the steam and fresh growth. The breeding habits are seasonal, with the birthing season in September or October after a gestation period of 7 months. During the mating season which takes place between February and March, the bulls perform elaborate displays as part of the mating ritual. Tsessebe are a social animal and therefore they have a group structure comprised of breeding groups of 6 to 10 cows, bachelor groups and territorial bull herds that can number up to 30 strong. Tsessebe are actually in the same family as Wildebeest and Hartebeest and their appearance reflects this, with their shoulders being higher than the withers. The population is almost entirely found in Kruger National Park and a handful of provincial game reserves with a few being reintroduced to some private game farms.

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