The Black Wildebeest (Connochaetes gnou) is one of two Wildebeest species. The main herds were exterminated as they were seen as pests while their meat and hides were used.Black Wildebeest have a dark brown coat with a long, white tail. Both males and females have very heavy, horns curving forward. The calves initially have straight horns and they change to a curvy set when they are 9 months of age.

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• The average lifespan is 20 years.
• They are unable to go without water for more than a few days.
• A calf eats its first grass at about 10 days.
• Black Wildebeest are very noisy animals, emitting grunts and, if disturbed, loud snorts.


Thorough preparation is the key factor to ensuring a high-quality final product. All hides are tanned and oiled using the world’s very best available chemicals and processes to ensure permanence and longevity.Forms are selected to ensure the best fit and posture will be altered to suit you, the client’s preference without additional cost. Natural habitat bases are custom-made for full mount trophies without additional cost.Only the finest materials and 40 years of professional experience are used in defining your trophies in a whole new way. The final trophies are almost Life-Formed. When the restoration is required, every effort is made to repair cuts and abrasions, and to minimise bullet damage. Natural scarring is kept unless otherwise requested.


Black Wildebeest avoid tall grass and dense forestation and prefer to graze in grasslands. They graze primarily on grass and occasionally karroid shrubs and herbs. Black Wildebeest are endemic to South Africa. They are not considered threatened by extinction because of their population of 12 000. Their predators are Lions, Cheetahs, wild Dogs and Hyenas.

Blue Wildebeest

Professional Blue Wildebeest Taxidermy in South Africa

The Blue Wildebeest, also known as the Common or White-bearded Wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus), is a dark silver-grey in colour with dark vertical stripes on the front quarters. Long black hair hangs from the blue wildebeest’s neck and throat like a beard, giving the animal its distinctive appearance. Short, curving horns appear on the heads of both sexes.


Bulls who have reached adulthood have horns that are severely bossed. A bull can weigh 250 kg and stand 1.5 metres tall at the shoulder. The average cow is 1.4 metres in height at the shoulder and weighs 180 kilogrammes.


Wildebeest enjoy semi-open woods and savannah plains with short grass.   It is important to have surface water available for drinking every day.


Hunting wildebeest can be difficult due to their heightened sensitivity of their surroundings and their panicked flight from any perceived danger. When a wildebeest is shot, it will generally turn around and return to the spot where it was hit.


When compared to other African antelope, blue wildebeest are one of the toughest to kill. A.270 will do, but be sure to use a bonded, heavy bullet (at least 150 grains). Take care not to aim too high, as they have a noticeable shoulder hump.


Blue wildebeest hunting is often called the “poor man’s buffalo hunt.” A nice trophy is one in which the length of the horns is such that they protrude beyond the points of the ears. When shooting a blue wildebeest, aim just like you would an antelope or any other plains game animal. While a full mount of a wildebeest isn’t something many hunters would choose, the animal’s head and shoulders would make for some unique wall art. Let the taxidermist know if you want the horns to be darkened or left natural.


What is Blue Wildebeest Taxidermy?

Taxidermists combine their creative skills with their understanding of technological methods to create preserved animals that look remarkably lifelike. The techniques used in blue wildebeest taxidermy have evolved greatly over time. Dermo-sculpture is used as a template for a new skin to be fitted over and glued into place before being held in place with pins and bandages while it dries, is widely practised.


Materials like fibreglass and acrylic are utilised to create lifelike representations of animals. To create lifelike depictions of animals, taxidermists must study natural subjects in depth, including, in this case, the anatomy of the blue wildebeest, the animals’ natural behaviours, and their skin colours.


Preparation and packaging tips for a flawless Blue Wildebeest trophy

The horns on males are larger and thicker than those on females, but both sexes have them. A gun blue tint can be seen in the space between the horns of a male wildebeest considered a trophy. Hunting for Blue wildebeest takes great trophy judgement skills and the experience to determine the sex of a trophy blue wildebeest from a distance. A trophy wildebeest bull will have horns that reach at least an inch beyond each ear. A blue wildebeest must be at least 70 inches in length to qualify for SCI. For reference, Rowland Ward stands at a towering 28 1/2 inches tall.


Skin the animal right away. If you wait until the next day, you might lose a valuable skin. Cut the cape about 10 cm back from the front legs. Cut a straight line from between the shoulders to six centimetres behind the back horns. Cut the cartilages near the head of the ear. Remove the rest of the cape from the head without hurting the ears, eyes, nose, or lips. Rinse the cape in brine water.


Salt the skin two centimetres thick and put it in a shaded area salt pit with the meat side up. After 24 hours, shake off any extra salt and hang the cape up to dry. When it’s almost dry but still bendable, fold it to the size you want to take with you, making sure the hair and ears are on the inside. Ensure that the storage facility is insect free.


The Blue Wildebeest taxidermist’s process and method

When tanning and oiling the skins, only the highest quality chemicals and processes are utilised, ensuring that they will last for years to come.


After taking your measurements into account, we’ll choose the shape you like most and tweak the blue wildebeest’s stance to suit you. When restoration is required, every effort is made to repair wounds and mitigate the effects of gunfire. Scars are kept unless the client requests removal.


Clay is used to create face features like cheekbones and the brow bone, and is also used to set glass eyes. If an appendage has been torn or damaged, modelling clay can be used to hold it together and add muscular definition. Numerous vendors offer commercially available forms and eyeballs. Otherwise, taxidermists make their own replicas by carving or casting.


Taking care of your Blue Wildebeest trophy

Putting your trophy head on the wall correctly is the first thing to master. When handling a mounted head, you should never grab, lean, or rest your hand on the neck. To provide optimal strength, use a screw with a large, flat head that is fixed into a wall beam and rather not a nail. It should protrude far enough from the wall to capture the screw head securely under the hanger attached to the mount’s backboard.


Placing a blue wildebeest trophy in direct sunlight will ensure that it deteriorates quickly in your home. Keep the trophies away from direct sunlight, a fire place active fires and other dry heat sources. All blue wildebeest mounts must also be kept dry if they are to remain lifelike and convincing enough to be displayed. Moths love to breed in closets and attics, so never store your mounts there. Use a fine repellant mist to spay the mount all over before carefully combing the repellant into the hair. We suggest the product – Mount Medix.


Frequently asked questions


How much does a blue wildebeest trophy cost?

The total price will depend on the condition of each trophy, any needed repairs, and the desired trophy. Please contact us so we can provide a pricing estimate.


How long does a blue wildebeest trophy take?

A blue wildebeest mounts’ production time at Life-Form Taxidermy can take anything from eight – 12 months. This is calculated from deposit and mounting instructions. The painstaking, multi-step process required to construct a blue wildebeest taxidermy trophy ensures that it will endure a lifetime and continue to look as magnificent as the day it was finished.

Black Wildebeest

Professional Black Wildebeest taxidermy in South Africa

The Black Wildebeest, or Connochaetes Gnou, which is also known as the White-Tailed Gnu, has a white fluffy tail that is similar in appearance to the tail of a horse. This species of even-toed ungulate antelope animal is only found in South Africa, Swaziland, and Lesotho. A fun fact, their loud bellows sound similar to “genu”. Their life-span can go up to 20 years.

The most active times of day for Black Wildebeest are early in the morning and late in the afternoon, while they spend the middle of the day resting. When they sense danger, they will make a turn and then stand with their hind legs hinged on the ground while kicking with their forelegs. They dash forward for a short distance before stopping, turning around, and looking in the direction from which they came – snort, buck, kick and caper – in a demented manner.

The open Karoo and Grasslands are the most common habitats for Black Wildebeest. Black Wildebeest prefer habitats with short grass because it is easier for them to graze on and provides better visibility, allowing them to keep a watchful eye for predators. Open habitat with adequate vision is also crucial for reproductive behaviour. In order to reproduce, territorial males need unobstructed views of their territory. They are territorial by nature and are seasonal breeders, giving birth in the summer.

Although it might be a challenging animal to conquer, due to their excellent eyesight, hearing, sense of smell and good running speed, it still remains, an enjoyable activity overall. The ideal time for hunting Black Wildebeest typically takes place during feeding times or continuously throughout the day or during the winter.

As a result of the fact that both cows and bulls have horns, it can be challenging to distinguish between the two. The horns of males are often larger and heavier than those of females, which are a little smaller and slimmer.

There are two situations in which Black Wildebeests can become extremely dangerous: when it’s pairing season or when they’ve been hurt.

In open terrain, its best to hunt Black Wildebeest with a.270 and 150-grain bullet. A.300 magnum or 7mm magnum with quality heavy-for-caliber bullets is the superior option. Choose a weapon with a higher calibre if you plan on going black wildebeest hunting in the bushveld. A 9.3mm or even a.375 is a good choice.


What is Black Wildebeest Taxidermy?

Whether on a hunt or a game drive, it is normally very amusing to see the gregarious animals do their “clown of the prairie show. These animals are known for their playful antics, which makes it one of the most sought-after targets for hunters interested in plains game in South Africa. The Black Wildebeest is an excellent choice for virtually any kind of mount.

The typical dimensions for a trophy Black Wildebeest are a shoulder height of 45-47 inches, a body weight of 350-400 pounds, and a horn length of 20 inches. A Black Wildebeest must have at least a score of 72 to qualify for the Safari Club International.


Tips for a flawless Black Wildebeest Trophy

The horns should extend over the tips of the animal’s ears to qualify as a trophy. Aiming at a Black Wildebeest requires the same level of precision as when shooting an antelope or any other type of plains game animal. Although few hunters would opt for a whole wildebeest mount, its head and shoulders would make for a good addition to any display room. Make sure the taxidermist knows if you want the horns darkened or left natural.

Do not drag the animal across the ground or onto the loading vehicle. Use padding beneath the head and neck to protect the animal while loading it onto the truck. The animal must be skinned as soon as possible to minimize bacterial activity resulting in hair slip.

The sooner the animal is skinned, the less likely it is to experience bacterial activity and hair slip because of the process. It’s crucial to make sure the skin is completely devoid of any trace of flesh, cartilage, muscle and fat.

Cut from the base of the tail up the middle of the belly and over the chin for a uniform design on your flatskin or rug.

To prepare a cape for a shoulder mount, make a V-shaped cut from the top of the head to the horns, being careful to avoid destroying the hair around the horns.

Then make a clean cut at the nape of the neck, descending well past the apex of the shoulder blades. Remove the cloak by peeling back the skin around the eyes, turning the ears, and carefully slicing open the mouth.

After skinning the animal, immediately wash the skin well to remove any trace of blood. We recommend to us an anti-bacterial like F10(cl) for this.

When the skin has been drip-dried for a few minutes, it is ready to be salted. Use a lot of salt and really work it into all the creases and folds, of the skin. Hang the skin up to dry after three to four days.


The Black Wildebeest Taxidermy process and method?

During the creation of traditional trophy mounts, the skin of the animal is tanned, prepared so that it can be stretched over a mannikin. The creation of these astonishingly lifelike animal trophies typically involves the use of fibreglass and foam, moulding, stitching, carving of foam for facial details to come to life.

When attempting to capture an animal’s resemblance in a display, taxidermists take into consideration a number of factors, some of which include detailed understanding of the anatomy and behavior of the Black Wildebeest, as well as the colour of its skin – including muscle definition, anatomical features, veins, facial movement etc.

After assuring a comfortable fit, the cape is glued in place, and artificial eyes are fused to the form. After this any remaining stitching is done, the skull cap is placed on the form. As soon as the mount is dry, the hair is brushed out to give it a more natural look, and the eyes, nose, and mouth are sculpted and painted to look lifelike


Taking care of your Black Wildebeest Taxidermy

Insect damage has occurred in the finest trophy rooms and museums. Small demisted/carpet beetles or moths are to blame for this. Make sure no pests are lurking in the trophy rooms by using a bug room fogger. All mounts and rugs should be moth proofed once a year. Basically, any spray designed to repel moths from clothing will do. Mist the mount thoroughly and work it into the hair with a brush. A hair dryer can be used to restore fluffiness to the fur of an animal. If a mount has been eaten by bugs, take it outdoors, spray it down with bug spray, and store it in a plastic bag for the night.

Your mounts will continue to look great with just a simple dusting once or twice a week. A feather duster and a damp cloth wiped in the direction of the hair can get rid of any lingering dust. We recommend using Mount Medix Africa (obtained from Life-Form Taxidermy – a trusted product).

Taxidermy should be stored in a dry, cool place that is away from any heat sources like fireplaces heaters and direct sunlight (exposure to natural elements). Moist places are breeding grounds for mildew and mould. Temperature and humidity fluctuations can be harmful to your trophies. Avoid storage areas, such as attics or basements.


Frequently asked questions

How much does a Black Wildebeest trophy cost?

The pricing of any trophy is subject to the costing stipulated per taxidermy order, quantity of trophies and preferred mounting options, along with additional requirements. Should you wish to receive a quotation prior to the hunt, the taxidermist can generate such for you.


How long does a black wildebeest trophy take?

The time it takes a taxidermist to mount an animal might range from days to weeks, and possibly several months, depending on the quantity of trophies per taxidermy order, the display preferences, and volumes of client trophies to be produced, simultaneously, per production schedule.

The completion and packing timeframe combined, ranges from 10-12 months. This depends largely on the “what, how, when” factors. A taxidermy order also only becomes available for production scheduling upon receipt of the required deposit and trophy mounting instructions.

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