Eland (Sp), Elenantilope (G), Eland (F), Eland (Af). "Eland" is from the Dutch elch for elk or moose, and was applied to this animal by early Dutch settlers in South Africa.
DESCRIPTION (male) Shoulder height 65-70 inches (165-180 cm). Weight 1,200-1,500 pounds (550-680 kg). Females are somewhat smaller.
A very large, ox-like animal with a hump on its shoulders, a prominent dewlap and a long, tufted tail. Coloration is grayish-fawn, turning bluish-gray with age. There is a mat of dark hair on the forehead and a dark dorsal stripe. In Africa, northern races have a variable number of thin, white, vertical stripes on the sides, while southern races lack stripes. The male's horns are long, straight, spirally twisted, heavily keeled and slightly divergent. The female lacks the mat of hair on its forehead and has horns that are slimmer, smoother and sometimes longer than those of the male.
DISTRIBUTION Private ranches, mainly in Texas; also found in Hawaii.
REMARKS Native to Africa, where it is the largest antelope after its cousin, the giant eland. Found throughout southern Africa south of the Zaire (Congo) basin rain forest, and in East Africa east of the Nile and as far north as Sudan. Three subspecies of common eland are found in Africa, but are not separated here. First introduced in Texas in 1951 on the Bear Creek Ranch in Kerr County. Eland are readily tamed and have been ranched for their meat and milk in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Russia.
HYBRIDIZATION The common eland is either known or believed to crossbreed, or to be the result of hybridization, when in a game ranch environment.