They know the inherent danger of running in a place with lethal predators like lions, hyenas and crocodiles, waiting to eat. But their migration to the north of the Serengeti is more important to them than the danger, and so the wildebeest press on.
These wild cattle run across the plains of Africa, stopping only when rest is essential to survival. A lioness is sitting under a tree, and she observes the passing herd, looking for a choice meal. The wildebeest know the risks, but they continue anyway. There is neither courage nor cowardice in their herd. Their instincts are what urge them forward, even in the face of danger. After half of the herd passes her, the lioness chooses a target, and gives chase. The individual wildebeest runs as fast as it can, but the lioness is faster. Still, not all lion hunts are successful, and while the lioness is faster, the wildebeest has greater endurance.
After a fifteen second chase, the lioness almost catches her prize, but she tires before she can claw at it, and the wildebeest escapes. The lioness will have to try again some other time.
Long after, the wildebeest reach the Mara River, swollen with the rains, and filled with crocodiles. Again, the wildebeest take the chance and begin to cross the river. They have a great advantage in numbers, so well over half of them make it to the other side. Others, though, are not so lucky, and are taken by surprise ambushes by the crocs. The ancient reptiles clamp down on the wildebeest's necks and drown them in the water, and they are ready to be eaten.
The majority that make it across have to climb the steep cliff wall in order to complete the crossing. They are still strong, and so many manage to climb up and get to the top. Many more, however, struggle at the bottom, because of the fatigue brought about by the crossing. Plus, in their haste to escape the crocs, the wildebeest start climbing over and trampling each other in their attempt to climb the wall.
At last, a sizeable majority manage to complete the crossing alive and well. But many more are eaten by the crocodiles, or they are trampled to death on the cliff, or they fell back in the water and drowned, or they were too exhausted to continue and accepted their unfortunate fate.
Even the birth of a baby wildebeest cannot delay the herd for long. The baby must be able to walk within minutes of birth, or it will be abandoned.
A baby wildebeest is born successfully. It sits helplessly on the ground. The mother waits for it to get up for a few minutes, but soon the herd must press on, and the baby still doesn't get up. The other wildebeest are about to give up and be on their way, when suddenly, the baby stood up, and after tottering a little on its unsteady legs, it's ready to move along with the rest of its kind.
It is not easy being a wildebeest, but sometimes, like so many other fauna, they too can prove that on the Serengeti, Life is more powerful than Death.