For wildlife reserves in South Africa, summer is the season of birth. And what's more special than witnessing a newborn antelope taking its first unsteady steps? A ranger at South Africa's Londolozi Game Reserve recently got the chance to see a wildebeest calf do just that – and he managed to snap this cute sequence of photos of the youngster's shaky start. 

Wildebeest calves are very vulnerable to predators, so getting up on your feet and keeping up with the rest of the herd is a crucial survival skill. The tiny newborns might look clumsy, but they're usually able to stand within minutes and run with the rest of their herd in less than two hours. This newborn calf had some initial mishaps, but after some gentle encouragement, he managed to find his feet.

The ranger had this to say about his lucky sighting:

Witnessing an actual birth is rare; I have never seen the full event, but I have been privileged enough to be there moments afterwards on a few occasions, to witness the little one take its first tentative steps in the world. Recently, on the way back to camp and trundling down the hill past the airstrip, we rounded a corner and in front of us was a female wildebeest nuzzling a tiny bundle in the grass. Realising immediately what was happening, we backed up in order to give her space and not make her or the calf too nervous, and we were thrilled to watch the little one get hesitantly to its feet for the first time, fall over once or twice, and then finally follow its mother back to the herd.


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