Eland are the second-largest antelope in the world, and they are found in a variety of habitats in South Africa. They are most commonly found in savannas, grasslands, and woodlands, but they can also be found in forests and mountains. Elands are herbivores, and they eat a variety of plants, including grasses, leaves, fruits, and nuts. One of the interesting characteristics of an Eland herd is that it includes a nursery for the calves. When threatened by predators, the herd forms a front with the large males taking the lead positions while the calves and pregnant females are protected behind the fortress of large males.
Eland are social animals, and they live in herds of up to 50 individuals. Herds are led by a dominant bull, and they typically consist of females, their young, and a few young bulls. Eland are very vocal animals, and they use a variety of sounds to communicate with each other, including snorts, bleats, and grunts.
Eland are an important part of the South African ecosystem. They help to keep the grasslands healthy by grazing on the grass, and they are also preyed upon by a variety of predators, including lions, leopards, and hyenas.
Elands are a popular tourist attraction in South Africa, and they can be seen in a variety of game reserves and national parks. They are also a popular game animal, and they are hunted for their meat, hide, and horns.
Here are some additional facts about elands in South Africa:
- Eland males can weigh up to 900 Kg and stand up to 1,7 metres tall at the shoulder.
- Eland Females are much smaller, weighing about 450 kilograms. Males have a patch of dark hair on their foreheads that covers glandular skin. Both males and females have fawn coloured coats. They also have faint vertical white stripes on their flanks, which are distinctive to the eland.
- Eland have long, spiral horns that can grow up to 6 feet long.
- Eland are excellent swimmers and can travel long distances in search of food and water.
- Eland are pregnant for about 8 months and give birth to a single calf.
- Eland can live for up to 20 years in the wild.
Adult Eland are only preyed upon by lions and spotted hyenas and the young fall prey to most of the larger carnivores such as Leopards, Cheetahs and Wild Dogs.
Eland are a beautiful and majestic animal, and they are an important part of the South African ecosystem. If you are lucky enough to see an eland in the wild, be sure to take a moment to appreciate its beauty and grace.