Wildebeests return to Detroit Zoo for first time in nearly 80 years

Posted at 9:46 AM, Jun 07, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-07 10:17:30-04

The Detroit Zoo has some new members! The zoological society announced on Thursday they welcomed two male eastern white-bearded wildebeests.

It's the first time that wildebeests have been at the zoo since 1939. They will join the zebras in the African Grasslands habitat. 

The wildebeest is also a gnu, pronounced like "new," and is a subspecies of the blue wilebeest.

“Having wildebeests at the Detroit Zoo for the first time in almost 80 years is exciting, because modern-day Zoo visitors have never seen them here,” said Scott Carter, DZS chief life sciences officer.  “Unlike many of the animals our visitors see, they’re not a threatened species but are an iconic and ecologically important part of their African Savannah ecosystems.” 

The animals at the Detroit Zoo are known for their white beard and silvery-blue coat. They can weight up to 640 pounds for males and 576 pounds for females.