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Zoo Buddy: Eland

Published: Apr. 6, 2021 at 11:52 AM CDT
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MONROE, La. (KNOE) - In our Zoo Buddy segment this week, we’re meeting a baby Eland at the Louisiana Purchase Gardens & Zoo. Their newest addition was just 6 days old when we filmed this segment on March 10th, 2021.

“Common Eland are from Africa. They are the largest antelope in the world, and they range from the males anywhere from 1600 pounds to 1800 pounds, probably the size of a horse here in America. They’re pretty slow animals and in fact they can only run about 25 miles an hour. But they can leap over seven feet whenever they are standing still,” explains Lisa Taylor, General Curator with the zoo.

And Taylor says they’ve adapted to dissipate heat well living in Africa.

“The males typically are like I said, pretty large, they have this pretty cool little dewlap down here. If you can see on him, it’s going to end up becoming super large and that’s for dissipating heat in Africa in the hot temperatures. And these very large ears also for dissipating heat,” explains Taylor.

She says both the males and females grow horns and they’re in a screw-shaped design.

“They live in groups of anywhere from 25 to 200 […] and they’re pretty social animals. What’s really cool is they’re starting to domesticate some of them for milk production and meat production in Africa because the milk is actually two times the protein of a dairy cow’s milk and two times the fat of a dairy cow’s milk, so it can actually stay good longer than regular dairy milk,” says Taylor.

Taylor says their biggest predators are lions, hyenas, cheetahs, and wild dogs in Africa.

To promote conservation and education, this baby Eland will eventually be sent to a petting zoo to teach kids about animals in other parts of the world.

“And he’s being you know, pretty much conditioned to go to a place up in Wisconsin, that’s going to be housing him and he’s going to be teaching kids up there about common elands, being an ambassador for them up there.”

The zoo is open between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. every day of the week, you can call them for more information about events going on and what parts of the zoo are open at the moment with COVID-19.

Their number is (318) 329-2400 and you can catch up with them on Facebook.

Click here for more information about Elands.

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