[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Based on Chris and Mathilde Stuart’s book, “Game Animals of the World,” published by African Hunting Gazette, here’s everything hunters need to know about the Giant (Lord Derby’s) Eland
English: Giant (Lord Derby’s) Eland
Latin: Tragelaphus (Taurotragus) derbianus
French: Éland de Derby
Spanish: Gran elán Africano
Total length: Male 3.6 – 4.4 m (11.8‘ – 14.4‘)
Female > 2.7 m (8.9‘)
Tail: 55 – 78 cm (22” – 28”)
(some records go to 90 cm (35”)
Shoulder Height: Male 1.5 – 1.8 m (4.9‘ – 5.9‘)
Female 1.5 m (344.5”)
Weight: Male 450 – 907 kg (992 – 2 000 lb)
Female 450 kg (992 lb)
A large, ox-like antelope with distinctive shoulder hump and dewlap on the throat which is most developed in bulls. Dewlap is fringed with a mane of dark hair. Ears noticeably larger than those of the common eland, and horns more massively structured, especially in adult bulls. The spiral of the horns is more open than in the other eland. Bulls generally have no forehead mat of hair. Coat colour is reddish-brown to chestnut, and there are 12 to 15 narrow white, vertical lines on each side. Eastern subspecies, T. d. gigas, tends to be more sandy in colour and usually has only 12 vertical white stripes, but western race, T. d. derbianus, is more reddish and usually has 15 white stripes. Neck and forequarters tend towards grey in older animals. Bridge of nose is charcoal-black, and there is often a white or tan-coloured chevron present between the eyes. The giant eland derives its alternative name, Lord Derby’s eland, from one Edward Smith-Stanley, 13th Earl of Derby, who apparently was responsible for transporting the first live animals of this species to England in the 19th century.
Once had a continuous range from Atlantic Ocean shore of Senegal, eastwards to Uganda. The western race now is only definitely known from Senegal and adjacent western Mali. The eastern race survives in northern Cameroon, CAR, and possibly adjacent areas of Sudan and Chad, and is only legally huntable in Cameroon and the CAR.
The western race is severely endangered with perhaps only 200 animals. Eastern giant eland number about 15 000, with vast majority in Cameroon and the CAR. Hunted to extinction in Uganda by 1970, it is generally held that safari hunting for eastern giant eland is the most likely justification for the long-term conservation of this, other species, and the vast tracts of savanna woodland that this eland requires to sustain the populations. Without the trophy value of this antelope it would probably become extinct in the wild within a decade. The seriously endangered western giant eland was huntable as a trophy animal up to about a decade ago in Senegal, but severe meat poaching has meant that trophy hunting is no longer viable unless numbers are allowed to increase.
Woodland savanna lying between the tropical forest belt to the south and the Sahel to the north. It is found in Isoberlinia and Terminalia-Combretum-Afzelia-dominated woodland
Despite its large size, the secretive nature of this antelope has ensured that it remains poorly known, and has never been studied in detail. In some areas they tend to be fairly sedentary, but in others they undertake seasonal movements. Most herds are of 25, or fewer individuals, but herd size may rise to 50 – 60 eland at certain times. Predominantly herd animals, but sightings of solitary adult bulls not unusual.
Gestation: 285 days
Number of young: 1
Birth weight: 23 – 35 kg (50.7 – 77.2 lb)
Sexual maturity: Bulls 4 – 5 years; cows 15 – 36 months
Longevity: To 25 years – believed to be captive
Browsers, that frequently will use their horns to snap branches that are out of the reach of the mouth. May graze when grasses are fresh. One of its most important foods is said to be the shoots and leaves of the tree Isoberlinia doka that occurs throughout much of its range. They are said to move into burnt areas with new plant growth, and this may be regular and seasonal, based on natural and man-made grass and bush burning.
Rifles and Ammunition
Suggested Caliber: .338 – .375
Bullet: Expanding bullet designed for penetration.
Sights: Medium-range variable scope.
Hunting Conditions: Expect medium-range shots in open woodland.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_gallery type=”image_grid” images=”14165,14166,14167″][/vc_column][/vc_row]