SA Wildlife: The Eland {Taurotragus Oryx} (Photo)

The Eland is the world’s largest antelope. Males have twisted horns which are thick and tightly spiralled, growing up to 25″ in females and to 50″ in males. Eland belong to the same group as kudus, nyala and bushbuck.

Eland are found in grassland, mountain, sub-desert, acacia savannah and miombo woodland areas. Herbivorous, they feed in areas where shrubs and bushes provide the leaves they prefer. They use their horns to bring twigs and branches into reach. Also known to consume tuberous roots.

QUICK FACTS

Size

Size: About 70 inches. Weight: 1,300 to 1,500 pounds.

Habitat

Eland are found in grassland, mountain, sub-desert, acacia savannah and miombo woodland areas. They distance themselves from deserts, forests and swamps.

Distribution

The Eland, also known as the southern eland or eland antelope, is a savannah and plains antelope found in East and Southern Africa.

Diet – Herbivores

Herbivorous, they feed in areas where shrubs and bushes provide the leaves they prefer. They use their horns to bring twigs and branches into reach. Also known to consume tuberous roots.

Socialisation

The social behaviour of Eland is somewhat different from that of other antelopes. Usually older, dominant males are solitary, while other adult males form small groups of three or four.

Adult females associate in much larger groups, whose size and membership vary from day to day. Several hundred eland sometimes gather, and males may spend a few hours or even weeks with a female group before becoming solitary again.

Reproduction

Single young are born any time of the year.

Gestation

Gestation is 9 months.

Life Expectancy

15 to 20 years in the wild, up to 25 years in captivity.

Predators

  • Humans

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