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12/13/2013 10:17 published by (unknown) in / / Hong Kong (China) - #-20131213-664

The giant eland

Giant eland

The giant eland is an open-forest savanna antelope. Although it is the largest species of antelope, with a body length ranging from 220–290 cm (87–110 in), the epithet "giant" refers to its large horns. It is also called "Lord Derby's eland" in honour of Edward Smith-Stanley, 13th Earl of Derby, by whose efforts it was first introduced to England. As a herbivore, it eats grasses, foliage and branches. It usually forms small herds consisting of 15–25 members, both males and females. Giant elands are not territorial, and have large home ranges. They are naturally alert and wary, which makes them difficult to approach and observe. They can run at up to 70 km/h (43 mph) and use speed as a defence against predators. They mostly inhabit broad-leafed savannas, woodlands and glades. The giant eland is native to Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, The Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea, Mali, Senegal, and South Sudan. It is no longer present in Gambia, Ghana, Ivory Coast, and Togo. Its presence is uncertain in Nigeria, Guinea-Bissau, and Uganda. There are two subspecies, which have been given different conservation statuses by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. (Full article...)