Wildebeest return to Namibia's South
Issue 3 (November 2008) For the first time in decades a herd of blue wildebeest is galloping across the plains of Gondwana Cañon Park east of the Fish River Canyon, writes Sven-Eric Kanzler.

 

Thirty-six blue wildebeest were released there in early June as part of a programme to reintroduce game species which used to be indigenous to Namibia’s south. Blue wildebeest as well as giraffe and elephant were shot to extinction in the area in the 19th century.


The herd of blue wildebeest came from a farm near Okahandja. It consists of twelve young animals and twenty-four adults – six of which are bulls, an ideal ratio for breeding. The wildebeest are likely to roam the plain east of the road to Fish River Canyon. In future they can probably be observed at the watering place close to that road. The turn-off is marked clearly.


Two years ago Burchell’s zebra and hartebeest were also released in Gondwana Cañon Park. They have already had offspring several times. Park management includes monitoring flora and fauna at regular intervals and, despite the meagre rainy season in 2007, the number of springbok has also increased considerably. According to a 2008 game count there are now 4600 springbok, compared to 3800 last year.

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