Kudu bull auctioned for record R9.4m

Kudu bulls are prized for their magnificent horns. (Shutterstock)
Kudu bulls are prized for their magnificent horns. (Shutterstock)

Johannesburg - The sale of a greater kudu bull more than tripled a previous record at a game auction, going for a price of R9.4m.

The animal known as Hercules is about 12 years old, with spiral horns of more than 1.7 metres long, and was bought by a group of game farmers from the Thabazimbi area, according to the seller, Dries Visser of Dries Visser Pure-Bred Game. The previous record for a kudu bull was R2.4m.

“If he is looked after, he can still be used for breeding for about three years,” Visser said by phone on Monday. “He was bought solely for his blood and genetics.”

Driven by growing demand from international hunters for exotic and large horned animals, South Africa’s game ranching industry is worth close to R12bn a year and is growing at about 10% annually, according to Barclays Africa Group [JSE:BGA].

Mystery, a tuberculosis-free buffalo with a 1.35m horn span, was bought for R40m by a group including billionaire Johann Rupert in 2013, while Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa sold three white-flanked impala antelope for R27.3m last September.

READ: Buffalo horns lure billionaires

Other breeds fetching high prices include golden gnus, where a recessive gene gives the normally blue-black wildebeest a yellowish coat.

Greater kudu have white striped coats and can weigh as much as 272 kilograms.

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