THE COMMON ELAND

Taurotragus oryx, also known as the southern eland or eland antelope, is a large-sized savannah and plains antelope found in East and Southern Africa. It is a species of the family Bovidae and the genus Taurotragus.

An adult male is around 1.6 m (5.2 ft) tall at the shoulder (females are 20 cm (7.9 in) shorter) and can weigh up to 942 kg (2,077 lb) with a typical range of 500–600 kg (1,100–1,300 lb), 340–445 kg (750–981 lb) for females).

It is the second-largest antelope in the world, being slightly smaller on average than the giant eland. Their coat differs geographically, with elands in the northern part of their range having distinctive markings (torso stripes, markings on legs, dark garters and a spinal crest) that are absent in the south. Apart from a rough mane, the coat is smooth. Females have a tan coat, while the coats of males are darker, with a bluish-grey tinge. Bulls may also have a series of vertical white stripes on their sides (mainly in parts of the Karoo in South Africa). As males age, their coat becomes greyer. Males also have dense fur on their foreheads and a large dewlap on their throats.

The common eland is the slowest antelope, with a peak speed of 40 km/h (25 mph) that tires them quickly. However, they can indefinitely maintain a 22 km/h (14 mph) trot. Elands are capable of jumping up to 2.5 m (8 ft 2 in) from a standing start when startled[13] (up to 3 m (9.8 ft) for young elands).[3] The common eland’s life expectancy is generally between 15 and 20 years; in captivity, some live up to 25 years.

The common eland in the pictures above was found in the Chato Wildlife farm(Geita).

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