Bubal Hartebeest – It Was Very Good

Bubal Hartebeest
Bubal Hartebeest, Lewis Medland, 1895

Bubal Hartebeest (Alcelaphus buselaphus buselaphus)

The Bubal Hartebeest, also known as the Bubal Antelope, was the first Hartebeest (a type of African antelope) to be named and described by Western Science. The animal was native to Africa north of the Sahara Desert in rocky areas with good vegetation.

The Bubal Hartebeest had a coat of short fur that was a uniform sandy color except for gray patches on the side of its muzzle and the tuft of its tail which was black. The Bubal Antelope was 3 1/2 feet at the shoulder and had ‘U’ shaped horns when viewed from the front. The Bubal was a social animal, described as living in herds of up to 200 animals. Its primary predator was the Barbary Lion (also extinct.)

Bubal Hartebeest

When the French conquered Algeria in 1847 entire herds of Bubal Antelopes were killed off by the colonial military. By the middle of the 1860s, the animals were restricted to the mountain ranges of northwestern Africa near and within the Sahara Desert. The animal went extinct in Tunisia in 1902, Morocco in 1925 and in Algeria around the same time. Hunting and elimination as a pest animal were the primary causes of the extinction.

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