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Facts about Eland

The largest antelope species

Elands are the largest antelope species in Africa, standing nearly 2m high at the shoulder, and a fully grown male may weigh over 700 kg.  Because of their size, they are also the slowest of the antelope, reaching speeds of only 40 km/h, but they can jump 3m from a standing start if they need to.

Both the males and females have tightly spiralled, deep ridged horns which can reach up to 1m in length, and males also have a larger dewlap under their thick neck.

Elands are water independent, so can survive in semi-desert areas, but are equally at home in woodland and mountainous areas.

They are browsers, and feed off leaves, using their horns to bring twigs and branches into reach. They also consume certain fruits, large bulbs and roots, and grass when it is green and tender.

Females live together in large herds up to 50, but in the Kalahari herd numbers can be over 500. The herds often live along zebras or giraffe, which offer added warning against predators such as lions or spotted hyena. If there are calves in the herd, the adult females will join together and staunchly defend them from any predator.

Older male elands tend to be solitary, and younger males will form small groups of 3 to 4. 

Adults make a loud 'clicking' noise when they walk. The noise is believed to come from their hooves, which splay apart and click back together under their body weight.