Less than five minutes.
That’s how long it took for a wildebeest calf to get to its feet for the first time.
Granted it’s usually not quite as quick as that, but still, under fifteen minutes is about the standard going rate.
Although the birthing itself can be protracted, leaving the mother vulnerable, once it’s over she and the calf will rejoin the herd almost immediately.
Being born into an area boasting one of the highest predator densities in Africa, if you aren’t up and moving almost immediately, you’re doomed. Wildebeest, impalas, waterbuck… you name it, the young are born fully developed (obviously just smaller) and pretty much hit the ground running.
In a nutshell, this is why the herbivores almost always give birth to single young. Having a litter and keeping them in the womb until they were developed enough to be born mobile just wouldn’t work. For the development needed for these precocial young, there can only be one.
The impala lambs are mostly born by now but the wildebeest birthing is in full swing and we are seeing new additions to the larger herds almost daily.
Summer truly is the time of plenty here…