By Shannon Lane @shannonroselane

BIRTHING season for the Tanzanian wildebeests sees thousands of calves being born at once - and one new baby struggles to find its feet

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Videographer / director: Yulia Sundukova
Producer: Shannon Lane, Nick Johnson
Editor: Joshua Douglas

The wildebeest cow's water breaks

Visiting the Ngorongoro area of the southern Serengeti in the months of February and March, it is likely to see numerous wildebeest births, as photographer Yulia Sundukova discovered.

The newborn calves are born in the centre of the grassy plains

February marks the start of the great migration, and almost 500,000 wildebeest calves are born within a two-week period.

Thousands of calves are born during a two week period

The huge volume of calves are born in sequence as this results in a lower percentage of the wildebeest young to be caught by predators.

An expectant wildebeest cows’ labour will last 30 minutes to one hour, and happens in the centre of the grassy plains.

The young calves imprint on their mothers with the first suckle

The newborn calf gains co-ordination faster than any other hoofed mammal. It is able to run with the herd within five minutes and able to outrun a lioness shorty after.

The calves manage to get on their feet within minutes

Each mother is able to recognise her calf by scent, however mix-ups and lost young occur due to the baby's instinct to follow anything that moves, including predators.

Once the calves head is out, gravity does the rest

It's the mother wildebeest’s responsibility look after her calf for the first few days, to ensure the calf is imprinted on her and isn’t separated.

Witnessing the calving season, the photographer gained a deep insight into wildebeest mothers and their behaviour.

The mother helps the calve stay stable on its feet

She said: "After spending days with wildebeests while they giving a birth and later, their crossing through the Mara river, I can just say they have nothing even close with the reputation 'stupid animals'.

The mother begins the birth whilst lying down

"Every mother was special, with different behaviour by herself and to her calf.”