While driving through Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, a large wildlife preserve on the border between South Africa and Botswana, a couple came upon an unusual sight: a baby wildebeest following a car.
The baby wildebeest was calling out while moving and stopping with the movements of the blue car that was driving ahead of Zaheer and Asma Ali.
“At first, we didn’t understand what was happening, but after a few minutes of viewing the wildebeest, checking our surroundings and seeing that there wasn’t a herd in sight, we realized that he was probably lost and had taken to the car in front of us as its mother,” Zaheer told Kruger Sightings.
“We knew it was a natural instinct for him to follow the biggest moving object closest to him, as he would have done in the herd.”
The baby wildebeest followed the blue car for a little more than a mile before almost getting run over by a car coming in the other direction.
“He went flying into the car but luckily was not injured,” Zaheer said. “Then the calf decided to turn towards our vehicle. It was going to the tires trying to suckle, looking for a spot on the vehicle to suckle.”
The couple drove on, hoping the baby wildebeest would follow as they searched for the wildebeest herd. The baby wildebeest, crying for them to stop, followed dutifully for nearly 3 miles before the herd finally came into sight.
“There were around 50 wildebeest in this herd,” Zaheer told Kruger Sightings. “The calf stopped and within five seconds the mother came running towards him and they were reunited. He immediately started suckling on her.”
Throughout the experience, the couple feared for the baby wildebeest, knowing it was alone and vulnerable to a lion attack.
“Our aim was to help him back to the safety of his herd,” Zaheer said. “At the same time, we felt excited because we knew how rare this sighting was. We had only ever heard of things like this on TV.”
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