Three cute eland antelope calves join the herd
Keepers have seen three eland antelope calves join the herd in the Savannah Reserves section in the Road Safari this month.
The calves arrived on the 1st , 10th and 15th March after roughly eight to nine months gestation.
All three are male and have been named by keepers who work on an alphabetic system... it's a 'T' year and so the boys have been named Tizer, Tattoo and Tyson. The team are pleased with their progress and have reported that the calves are gaining strength each day.
In the first few days following their births, the new mothers hid their calves away – in some cases so well that it took the keepers some time to scout them out and check they were doing ok each day. Visitors will now be able to spot the playful trio pronking (jumping and running) across the African Savannah reserve on the Road Safari.
The young males may be small now, but as one of the largest antelope species, once fully grown it can be expected that they will stand at around 1.6m high at the shoulder and weigh between 400 and 900kg. With just a few days difference in age, the size difference between the males is already clear, but that hasn’t stopped them forming a great bond with each other.
The common eland is a non-territorial antelope and can often be seen forming large herds, however these groups are generally split into smaller herds of males, females and juveniles. Over time it is expected that the calves will stick together in their own 'nursery' group, which they will be likely to stay in for around two years, before moving on to join the larger male group.
Did you know?
- In the wild elands typically live to between 15 and 20 years of age, but in captivity they can reach 25 years.
- Eland are not currently listed as endangered but their numbers are gradually declining due to habitat loss.
- Both male and female elands have large, spiraled horns.