The name Wildebeest means “wild beast” in Dutch, but you can’t believe every tag the Europeans gave animals, see gophers, aardvarks, groundhogs, etc.
Also called the gnu, the wildebeest a hooved, or ungulate mammal.
The wildebeest is a large antelope that roams through grassy plains of southern Africa, grazing in huge, usually placid herds.
They come in two flavors, the blue wildebeest, which is quite common, and the black wildebeest, which has been hunted down to about 10,000 surviving members.
So why the “wilde beest” name? Well, they look scary, in the same way that American buffalo do.
They have massive bodies and bristly faces. When approached by a human, wildebeests will dash away to a safe distance, and then suddenly wheel around to stare menacingly back at the intruder.
It’s a scary thing to witness, but if you don’t come any nearer, you probably won’t have any trouble.
We suppose you probably wouldn’t want to be in their way if they were stampeding, but spread the gnus, the “wilde beest” has been given a bum rap.