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The Eland
eland

The cow-like eland is the world's largest and slowest antelope. It has the endurance to maintain a trot indefinitely and can jump an 8 foot fence from a standstill. Both males and females have horns that spiral tightly, though female horns tend to be longer and thinner.

About The Eland
 

Parks Where Found

Physical Characteristics

  • A tuft of black hair grows out of the male eland's prominent dewlap, the loose fold of skin that hangs down from the neck.
  • Adult males also have a mat of hair on the forehead that grows longer and denser as the animal ages.
  • Usually fawn or tawny-colored, elands turn gray or bluish-gray as they get older; the oldest animals become almost black.

Natural Environment

Elands are found in grassland, mountain, subdesert, acacia savanna and miombo woodland areas.

Behaviour

The older the male, the more solitary its tendencies, while younger animals may form small groups. Males are also more sedentary than females, who may travel widely, especially during the dry season. Females and young are found in loosely cohesive groups. Calves spend a lot of time grooming and licking each other, developing bonds even stronger than those of a calf with its mother.

Diet

Elands browse more than graze, feeding in areas where shrubs and bushes provide the leaves they prefer and using their horns to bring twigs and branches into reach. They also consume certain fruits, large bulbs and tuberous roots.

Predators and Threats

Man has domesticated the eland due to its rich milk, tasty meat and useful hide. However, its need for a vast range to find sufficient browsing and its low density in number create game management problems and this new idea may not be viable in the long term.

Facts for Fun

  • Elands have been semi-domesticated in some areas.
  • They have a dominance hierarchy that is usually based on size, strength and age does exist.
Herbivores

Giraffe

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