Common Eland


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Eland, Common

 

(Taurotragus oryx), an artiodactylous mammal of the family Bovidae. Body length is up to 3.5 m; height at the withers, up to 1.8 m; and weight, up to 900 kg. The tail may be up to 60 cm long and has a tuft of hair on the end. Males and females have long, spirally twisted horns. Under the neck is a fold of skin (dewlap). The animal is light grayish yellow in color.

The common eland is found in eastern and southern Africa. It inhabits savannas, living in herds and feeding on grass, tree leaves, and shrub foliage. In its natural habitat it reproduces in all seasons. Gestation lasts eight-and-a-half to nine months, and the female gives birth to one calf. The common eland is killed for its meat and hide. In some places it is being extensively destroyed. It can be tamed easily. In the USSR the common eland has been acclimatized in Askaniia-Nova, where work is being done to domesticate it. The female gives up to 7 liters of milk in a 24-hour period; the milk has a high fat content (up to 13 percent). Work to domesticate the common eland is also being done in Africa.

REFERENCE

Zoopark ‘Askaniia-Nova.’ Kiev, 1963.

I. I. SOKOLOV