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Afrikaans name: Eland

Eland portrait

Male Eland

Photo © Steven Herbert

Taurotragus oryx

Interesting facts about Eland

What is referred to in South Africa as the Eland is sometimes referred to as the Common or Southern Eland elsewhere. It can also apparently be called the Eland Antelope.

This is a massive species of antelope standing 1.6 metres at the shoulder and weighing up to 600 kg. Females are smaller than the males. Elsewhere in Africa you get the Giant Eland which is the only antelope bigger than this one.

The Eland feeds off grass and leaves. They are particularly fond of flowering plants. The Eland favours more open habitats such as savanna and woodlands. It may even be found at higher altitudes in montane grasslands.

Eland are not territorial and form herds which may number a few or couple of hundred individuals.

Both male and females have horns although the males horns are thicker. Males have thick fur on their foreheads.

Although Eland are not fast runners they do have the ability to jump up to 2.5 metres high.

Eland are preyed upon by Lion, Cheetah, Wild Dog and Spotted Hyena although the young are far more at risk than large adults.

Two Eland and a Cattle Egret

Photo © Steven Herbert


References and further reading

An Introduction to the Larger Mammals of Southern Africa - Author: Joanna Dalton - Year Published: 1987 - Page: 256

Chris and Tilde Stuart's Field Guide to the Mammals of Southern Africa - Author: Chris and Tilde Stuart - Year Published: 1988 - Page: 184

Field Guide to the Cradle of Humankind - Author: B. Hilton-Barber & Prof. L. R. Berger - Year Published: 2004 - Page: 168

Field Guide to the Mammals of the Kruger National Park - Author: U. de V. Pienaar et al. - Year Published: 1987 - Page: 138

Kruger National Park Questions and Answers - Author: P.F. Fourie - Year Published: 1987 - Page: 130

Land Mammals of Southern Africa - A field guide - Author: Reay HN Smithers - Year Published: 1986 - Page: 198

Mammals of Southern Africa - Author: Burger Cillier - Year Published: 1987 - Page: 143

Mammals of the Kruger and other National Parks - Author: The National Parks Board - Year Published: 1980 - Page: 142

Reader's Digest Illustrated Guide to the Game Parks and Nature Reserves of Southern Africa - 2nd edi - Author: Editor - Alan Duggan - Year Published: 1991 - Page: 416

Signs of the Wild - Author: Clive Walker - Year Published: 1986 - Page: 217

Wild Issue 22 - Author: - Year Published: 2013 - Page: 28

List of South African Mammals

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