The Wilderbeest, also called the gnu is an antelope of the genus Connochaetes. It is a hooved [ungulate] mammal. Wildebeest is Dutch for “wild beast” or “wild cattle” in Afrikaans [beest = cattle], while Connochaetes derives from the Greek words κόννος, kónnos, “beard”, and khaítē, “flowing hair”, “mane”. The name “gnu” originates from the Khoikhoi name for these animals, gnou.
Gnus belong to the family Bovidae, which includes antelopes, cattle, goats, and other even-toed horned ungulates. In East Africa, the wildebeest is the most abundant big-game species, both in population and biomass.
A full-grown wildebeest can be 1.27–1.47 m [4.2–4.8 ft] at the shoulder and weigh 120–270 kg [260–600 lb]. They inhabit the plains and open woodlands of Africa, especially the Serengeti National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Tanzania, Masai Mara Game Reserve in Kenya, and Liuwa Plain National Park in Zambia.