With males weighing more than 900 kg and having a shoulder height of up to 1.8 m, the Common Eland (Taurotragus oryx) is the largest antelope of Africa, only rivaled by its close relative, the Derby’s Eland (Taurotragus derbianus). The Common Eland lives in the open and dry savannahs of southern, central, and eastern Africa. In its habitat, the animals browse mostly on leaves, while grazing contributes less to the diet. Although the antelopes are generally not very agile, they can reach a speed of up to 70 km/h and jump across 3 m high fences if necessary! Generally, the Common Eland lives in groups of around 25 members, but larger herds with up to 700 individuals have been described. I have photographed these impressive animals in the Etosha National Park in northern Namibia during a journey in February 2007.
Eland are such big animals, and yet they still have the soft eyes and gentle antelope demeanor of their (much smaller) relatives.I just love your “family picture” at the start of this post Matthias 😉 .
Hopefully one day we’ll be able to visit Etosha too, it sounds amazing.
We also featured a post about the common eland recently, hope you don’t mind me linking to it here Matthias? http://dewetswild.com/2014/06/27/common-eland/
Very lovely photos, Matthias. I remember them being skittish, which makes these photos even more impressive.
I think you always have to be a little bit lucky to find a group which is not nervous…
thank you for your compliment in any case!! 🙂