Taurotragus derbianus gigas
DESCRIPTION Larger than the western giant eland, with longer horns, a duller overall color and fewer body stripes. Specimens from Ubangi-Chari have the longest (and comparatively slimmest) horns and a blackish chestnut hair mat on the forehead. Those from Sudan have a reddish brown forehead mat.
DISTRIBUTION North of the equatorial rain forest in the forested savanna zone of eastern Nigeria, northern Cameroon, southern Chad, northern and eastern Central African Republic, and southwestern Sudan. A few may still be found in northeastern Congo (K).
REMARKS An outstanding game animal and one of the great trophies of Africa, ranking with bongo and mountain nyala. Because of its habitat, most hunting is by tracking on foot. One looks for fresh tracks at first light-from a vehicle if there are roads, or on foot if there are none. Once found, the tracks are followed as quickly as possible-often at a trot-because eland usually keep moving. Tracking can take all day or longer, in debilitating heat. Care must be taken to prevent the eland from becoming aware of the pursuit, for, when alarmed, they are off without a backward look and will run for miles. It is sometimes possible to find an easy bull close to the vehicle; however, most Lord Derby eland are well-earned. One should allow two to three weeks for this hunt, and be physically fit.
TAXONOMIC NOTES Includes cameroonensis (Cameroon), congolanus (Ubangi/Chari) and gigas (Bahr-el-Ghazal), with gigas Heuglin, 1863 having priority.