The common eland is the second largest antelope in the world, being slightly smaller on average than the giant eland. They weigh between 450 to 900 kg and are up to 1.8 metres tall at the shoulder. It uses loud barks, visual and postural movements to communicate and warn others of danger.
Both sexes have horns with a steady spiral ridge. Males use their horns during rutting season to wrestle and butt heads with rivals, while females use their horns to protect their young from predators.
In southern Africa, common elands will often associate with herds of zebras, roan antelopes and oryx which is why they live with our zebra here at Wild Place Project.
Common elands are herbivores that browse during drier winter months but have also adapted to grazing during the rainy season. They require a high-protein diet of leaves from flowering plants but will eat lower quality plants if available including trees, shrubs, grasses and seeds. The eland is capable of conserving water by increasing its body temperature.
The eland lives on the savannah and plains found in East and Southern Africa. Common elands form herds of up to 500 animals, but they are not territorial animals. These animals prefer a wide variety of habitats such as savannah, woodlands, and open and montane grasslands but it does avoid dense forests.
While the common eland's population is decreasing, it is classified as Least Concern by IUCN. The reasons for this decrease in population are habitat loss and poaching for its superior meat.
You can learn more about the common elands' conservation status on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species website