Let’s save the wildlife – Eland (Tragelaphus oryx)

The cow-like eland is the world’s largest antelope. However, it has the endurance to maintain a trot indefinitely and can jump a 1.5 meter (4 feet) fence from a standstill. Both males and females have horns that spiral tightly, though female horns tend to be longer and thinner. Usually fawn or tawny-colored, they turn gray or bluish-gray as they get older; the oldest animals become almost black. A tuft of black hair grows out of the male’s prominent dewlap, the loose fold of skin that hangs down from the neck. Adult males also have a mat of hair on the forehead that grows longer and denser as the animal ages.

Elands have experienced population decline due to hunting.Their rich milk, tasty meat, and useful hides have made them popular ranch animals and hunting targets. Their meat is highly prized, especially by illegal hunters, because each animal provides a large quantity of meat. The world’s largest antelope is becoming widely domesticated due to their high yield of nutritious ‘long life’ antibacterial milk — which also has much higher protein content and milk fat than cow’s milk — in Zimbabwe, South Africa, and Kenya. However, only one attempt to domesticate these antelopes has been successful due to the high food supplemental costs, confining them at night, and herding them during the day.

Human and livestock expansion destroy eland habitats. As human populations are growing and expanding settlements and agriculture, they are encroaching on elands living spaces and destroying habitats and food sources. They have been eliminated from more than 50 percent of their historic range due to human encroachment, and since the 1970s, their population decreased dramatically because of civil wars and its aftermath in countries such as Uganda, Rwanda, Angola, and Mozambique.

Izvor informacija: (https://www.awf.org) – Fotografija: (https://www.gettyimages.com)


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