Giant Eland

Giant Eland
©Tom Junek

Giant Eland, Tragelaphus derbianus, also known as the Lord Derby eland, is the largest antelope, and the Eastern Giant Elands subspecies T. d. gigas which once lived in the an open-forest savanna of the Nigerian northeastern region is now extinct. Giant Eland is characterized by a body size larger than its Western Giant Eland relative that is found today in the Niokolo Koba National Park of Senegal. It also has sandy ground color and around twelve body stripes. Body length is about 3.45 m and shoulder height reaches 1.8 m. Tails are usually 55-78 cm long and shoulder height reached 1.75 m for males and 1.6 for females. Although the Eastern Giant Eland weighs between 450-900kg in males and 300-500kg in females, they still run 70km/hr. when faced with predation. This non-territorial social browser eat grasses, foliage and branches. They now survive mainly in north-east Central African Republic. Gestation period is for 9 months afterwhich a calf that will stay with the mother for another six months is delivered.

Tope Apoola
Profession: Writer