Gnu Animals


A Gnu or WildebeestFound in Southern and Eastern Africa, the gnu (pronounced g-nu or new) is a really unique animal that looks like a combination of many others. With its ox-like head, the mane of a horse and buffalo horns it may not be as attractive as our websites – but does have a lot of character.


That South African character is one of the reasons we chose the name Gnu World. When pronounced ‘new’, our name refers to the hope that technology will transform and improve our world.

Interesting Gnu Facts

As a result of its appearance, the animal is also known as a wildebeest – an Afrikaans word meaning “wild beast”.

  • The white bearded gnu population has increased from around 100 000 animals in 1950 to roughly 1.5 million at present.
  • Eighty percent of gnu calves (up to half a million) are born within a two to three week period at the beginning of the rainy season.
  • These calves can stand and run within three to seven minutes of being born.
  • At night white-bearded gnus sleep on the ground in rows. This provides the animals with the security of being in a group while allowing them space to run in case of an emergency.
  • More than a million creatures take part in the annual gnu migrations that are often regarded as the world’s most incredible animal spectacle.
  • Rather than destroying the areas over which these migrations occur, the grazing and trampling of the grasses by such large herds helps to stimulate grass growth

The Gnu Song

Written by M. Flanders and D. Swann
© Michael Flanders/Donald Swan

A year ago last Thursday
I was strolling in the zoo
When I met a man
Who thought he knew the lot
He was laying down the law
About the habits of baboons
And the number of quills a porcupine has got

So I asked him what’s that creature there
He answered, “It’s a helk”
I might have gone on thinking that was true
If the animal in question hadn’t
Put that chap to shame
and remarked “I ain’t a helk”
I’m a Gnu
I’m a Gnu
I’m a Gnu
How do you do?
You really ought to know
who’s who
I’m a Gnu
Spelled G-N-U
I’m g-not a camel or a kangaroo
So let me introduce
I’m g-neither man or moose
Oh G-no, G-no, G-no – I’m a Gnu

I had taken furnished lodgings down on Rustington-on-Sea
Whence I traveled on to Ashton-under-Lyme
And the second night I stayed there
I was wakened from a dream
Which I’ll tell you all about some other time
Among the hunting trophies on the wall above my head
Stuffed and mounted was a face I thought I knew
A bison, no it’s not a bison
An okapi, I don’t think it’s an okapi
Could it be a hartebeest?
When I seemed to hear a voice

I’m a Gnu
I’m a Gnu
A g-nother Gnu

I wish I could g-nash my teeth at you
I’m a Gnu
How do you do?
You really ought to k-now
a who’s who

I’m a Gnu
Spelled G-N-U
Call me bison or okapi and I’ll sue
G-nor am I in the least like that dreadful hartebeest
G-No G-No G-No!

I’m a Gnu
G-no, G-no, G-no
I’m a Gnu
G-no, G-no, G-no
I’m a Gnu