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Cape Eland - Species Detail
Taurotragus oryx oryx
DESCRIPTION The Cape eland's body color is a uniform, dull fawn. Adults lack body stripes, though juveniles may be lightly striped. Typically, this subspecies does not have white streaks below the eyes or dark bands behind the knees. The backs of the pasterns are whitish.
DISTRIBUTION Namibia, except in the far north and the Caprivi Strip; the Kalahari region in southern Botswana; South Africa; and the extreme south of Mozambique.
At one time elands were widely distributed throughout South Africa, even as far southwest as the present site of Cape Town, but they were mostly shot out by early European settlers. Probably the only natural populations existing today in South Africa are in northern Cape Province close to Botswana and in the northeastern Transvaal. However, they have been widely reintroduced on private ranches in South Africa so that their present distribution resembles what existed before Europeans arrived.
In Namibia, we designate as Cape eland all those found south of the game fence that extends from the Atlantic Ocean, south of Etosha Game Park, to Botswana.
TAXONOMIC NOTES Includes alces, barbatus, canna, oreas, oryx and typicus (all of South Africa), with oryx Pallas, 1766 having priority.
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