The scientific name of the Common Eland is Taurotragus Oryx, composed of three words: Tauros, Tragos and Oryx. They are sexually dimorphic, with females being smaller than the males and their coats are smooth, a dusty brown in colour, and they have a rough mane. As the males age, their coats become more grey.

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Common Eland are spiral-horned antelopes and are sexually dimorphic. Females weigh 300–600 kg (660–1,320 lb), measure 200–280 cm (79–110 in) from the snout to the base of the tail and stand 125–153 cm (49–60 in) at the shoulder. Bulls weigh 400–942 kg (882–2,077 lb), are 240–345 cm (94–136 in) from the snout to the base of the tail and stand 150–183 cm (59–72 in) at the shoulder. The tail is 50–90 cm (20–35 in) long. Male Eland can weigh up to 1,000 kg (2,200 lb).

Their coat differs geographically, with Eland in northern parts of their range having distinctive markings (torso stripes, markings on legs, dark garters and a spinal crest) that are absent in the south. Apart from a rough mane, the coat is smooth. Females have a tan coat, while the coats of males are darker, with a bluish-grey tinge. Bulls may also have a series of vertical white stripes on their sides (mainly in parts of the Karoo in South Africa). As males age, their coat becomes more grey. Males also have dense fur on their foreheads and a large dewlap on their throats.

Both sexes have horns with a steady spiral ridge (resembling that of the Bushbuck). The horns are visible as small buds in newborns and grow rapidly during the first seven months. The horns of males are thicker and shorter than those of females (males’ horns are 43–66 cm (17–26 in) long and females’ are 51–69 cm (20–27 in) long), and have a tighter spiral. Males use their horns during rutting season to wrestle and butt heads with rivals, while females use their horns to protect their young from predators.

The Common Eland is the slowest antelope, with a peak speed of 40 km/h (25 mph) that tires them quickly. However, they can maintain a 22 km/h (14 mph) trot indefinitely. Eland are capable of jumping up to 2.5 m (8 ft 2 in) from a standing start when startled (up to 3 m (9.8 ft) for young Elands). The Common Eland life expectancy is generally between 15 and 20 years; in captivity, some live up to 25 years.

Eland herds are accompanied by a loud clicking sound that has been subject to considerable speculation. The weight of the animal may cause the two halves of its hooves to splay apart, and the clicking is the result of the hoof snapping together when the animal raises its leg. The sound carries some distance from a herd, and may be a form of communication.

Eland are nomadic and crepuscular (active when the sun is below the horizon). They eat in the morning and evening, rest in shade when hot, and remain in sunlight when cold. They are commonly found in herds numbering up to 500, with individual members remaining in the herd from several hours to several months. Juveniles and mothers tend to form larger herds, while males may separate into smaller groups or wander individually. During oestrus, mainly in the rainy season, groups tend to form more regularly. In Southern Africa, Common Elands will often associate with herds of Zebra and Roan antelope and Oryx.

Eland communicate via gestures, vocalizations, scent cues and display behaviours. The flehmen response (to bare the upper teeth to look spiteful) also occurs, primarily in males in response to contact with female urine or genitals. Females urinate to indicate fertility during the appropriate phase of their oestrous cycle, as well as to indicate their lack of fertility when harassed by males. If Eland bulls find any of their predators nearby, they bark and attempt to attract the attention of others by trotting back and forth until the entire herd is conscious of the danger. Some of their main predators include Lion, African Wild Dog, Cheetah and Spotted Hyena. Eland calves are more vulnerable than adults to their predators.

Eland are herbivores that browse during drier winter, but have also adapted to grazing during the rainy season when grasses are more common and nutritious. They require a high-protein diet of succulent leaves from flowering plants, but will consume lower-quality plant material if available, including trees, shrubs, grasses, seeds, and tubers. Grasses that Eland eat include Setaria and Themeda and fruits from Securinega and Strychnos. Large antelope can survive on lower-quality food in times of little rain.

Most of their water is obtained from their food, though they drink water when available. As they quickly adjust to the surroundings due to seasonal changes and other causes, they change their feeding habits. They also use their horns to break off branches that are hard to reach.

Eland have several thermoregulatory adaptations to help them withstand the extreme temperatures of their environments. Using peripheral thermal receptors on the skin, Eland can sense heat and increase or decrease evaporative cooling accordingly. On sunnier days, Eland maintain a cooler skin temperatures relative to their inner body temperature. Eland achieve cooler skin temperatures by increasing cutaneous evaporation. This allows them to feel cooler, even though their internal body temperature stays relatively the same throughout the day. The Eland can also conserve water by increasing its body temperature. When temperatures rise above a certain threshold, an increase in sweating and panting is also observed. Eland use their sparse fur coats to dissipate excess heat via re-radiation. The dewlap is also believed to play a role in thermoregulation. Due to its high surface area to volume ratio, it may allow for efficient thermoregulation in larger Eland with larger dewlaps.

Females are sexually mature at 15 to 36 months and males at 4 to 5 years. Mating may occur any time after reaching sexual maturity, but is mostly seen in the rainy season. In Zambia, young are born in July and August, while elsewhere this is the mating season. Mating begins when Eland gather to feed on lush, green plains with plentiful grass, and some males and females start mating with each other in separate pairs. Males chase the females to find out if they are in oestrus. They also test the female’s urine. Usually, a female chooses the most dominant and fit male to mate with. Sometimes, she runs away from males trying to mate, causing more attraction. This results in fights between males, in which their hard horns are used. A female allows a male to mount after two to four hours. Males usually keep close contact with females in the mating period. The dominant male can mate with more than one female. Females have a gestation period of nine months, and give birth to only one calf each time.

Males, females, and juveniles each form separate social groups. The male groups are the smallest; the members stay together and search for food or water sources. The female group is much larger and covers greater areas. They travel the grassy plains in wet periods and prefer bushy areas in dry periods. Females have a complex linear hierarchy. The nursery and juvenile group is naturally formed when females give birth to calves. After about 24 hours of the delivery, the mother and calf join this group. The calves start befriending each other and stay back in the nursery group, while the mother returns to the female group. The calves leave the nursery group when they are at least two years old and join a male or female group.

Eland are resistant to trypanosomiasis, a protozoan infection that has the Tsetse Fly as a carrier, but not to the Rhipicephalus – transmitted disease theileriosis. The disease-causing bacterium Theileria Taurotragi has caused many Eland deaths. Eland are hosts to several kinds of ticks. Eland produce antibodies for Brucella bacteria, but none for Mycobacterium paratuberculosis or various types of pneumonia like contagious bovine pneumonia and contagious caprine pneumonia, normally infectious in cows or antelope.


Common Eland live on the open plains of Southern Africa and along the foothills of the great southern African plateau. The species extends north into Ethiopia and most arid zones of South Sudan,  west into eastern Angola and Namibia and south to South Africa. However, a low density of Eland exist in Africa due to poaching and human settlement.

Eland prefer to live in semiarid areas that contain many shrub-like bushes, and often inhabit grasslands, woodlands, sub-desert, bush, and mountaintops with altitudes of about 15,000 ft (4,600 m). Eland, avoid forests, swamps and deserts. The places inhabited by Elands generally contain Acacia, Combretum, Commiphora, Diospyros, Grewia, Rhus and Ziziphus trees and shrubs; some of these also serve as their food.


What is Eland Taxidermy?

Eland taxidermy is the art of preserving the Eland skin and other body parts to produce lifelike sculptures for display, either at home as a hunting trophy or in museums for educational purposes. Skin is preserved and mounted on an artificial armature to display the specimen.

The contemporary English word “taxidermy” is derived from the Greek terms taxis, meaning “movement,” and derma, meaning “skin,” thereby combining these two meanings. This is why, in a broad sense, taxidermy is synonymous with “the motion of skin.”

For expert taxidermists, skills in sculpture, painting, and sketching are just as important as those in carpentry, woodworking, tanning, moulding, and casting.

The remaining parts of the body are synthetic replacements for real organs and tissues. Polyurethane foam is used for the manikin or form, which includes the anatomy of every muscle and vein; glass is used for the eyes; clay is used for the eyelids; for the nose and mouth the foam of the mannequin is sculptured.

Works of taxidermy can be found in a wide range of environments, including museums, classrooms, galleries, stores, restaurants, and private households, due to the complexity and delicate craftsmanship involved in the taxidermy process.

Thorough preparation is the key factor to ensuring a high-quality final product. All hides are tanned and oiled using the world’s very best available chemicals and processes to ensure permanence and longevity. Forms are selected to ensure the best fit and posture will be altered to suit you, the client’s preference without additional cost. Natural habitat bases are custom-made for full mount trophies without additional cost. Only the finest materials and 40 years of professional experience are used in defining your trophies in a whole new way. The final trophies are almost Life-Formed. When the restoration is required, every effort is made to repair cuts and abrasions, and to minimise bullet damage. Natural scarring is kept unless otherwise requested.

Hunting Eland

Hunting Eland can be difficult since it is easily frightened and will run away at the first indication of trouble. Although Eland herds of 8-12 animals are usual, far larger herds have been documented. During the day, it grazes in the open woods and on the flat, scrubby veld.

Hunting Eland in South Africa is an exciting and gratifying experience due to the animal’s tremendous size and its tendency to flee at the sound of a human’s voice. These amazing creatures have excellent vision and the ability to leap up to seven feet in the air.

A good rifle is crucial while hunting Eland. The .375 calibre is not overkill. Cartridges with sufficient power are required for hunting Eland. This is why you shouldn’t settle for anything less than a .30-06 Springfield loaded with 180gr controlled expansion rounds. The.300 and.338 Winchester Magnum are marginally better options. Eland hunting is best done with a.375 H&H or 9.3x62mm Mauser cartridge. When going after Eland, it’s imperative to use bullets of the highest quality.

A well-placed shot is essential; missing the target by even a few inches with a smaller calibre can lead to a frustrating day of searching for a wounded animal or perhaps its complete loss. Although their anatomy can trick inexperienced African hunters, they are not particularly tough for their size. If you shoot for the Eland and only hit the brisket, you’ll be out in the bush for hours. The sweet spot is right in the middle of the torso, in the fold behind the shoulder.

The Eland taxidermist’s process and method

When making an Eland mount, careful planning is key to getting a high-quality result. When tanning and oiling the skins, only the best chemicals and methods are used. This ensures that the skins will last for many years.

Your preferred form for the Eland will be chosen after taking your measurements into account, and the posture of your form will be changed at no extra cost. Full-mount Eland trophies come with bases made to look like the animal’s natural habitat and made just for the Eland mount.

The taxidermy process at Life-Form takes your prized Eland trophy and gives it a whole new meaning by using only the best materials and drawing on more than 40 years of experience in the field.

When repair is needed, every effort is made to fix cuts and scrapes and lessen bullet damage. Existing scars are left alone unless the client asks for them to be taken away.

Taking care of your Eland trophy

Using the helpful tips below, it’s important to take extra care of your prized Eland trophy to make sure it stays in perfect shape for years to come.

  • To keep your Eland mounts looking their best, it’s important to put them in the right place with the right temperature and humidity.
  • To keep your mounts from fading over time, try not to hang them next to a sunny window where they will be in direct sunlight for a long time. If you can, don’t put taxidermy near direct heat sources like furnace vents or wood stoves.
  • A taxidermy trophy should be handled and cared for like any other expensive and fine piece of art. Mounts should only be touched when they need to be.
  • If you want your mounts to look their best, you should dust them often and gently. A feather duster works well, and then you can wipe away any remaining dust with a damp cloth in the direction of the hair.
  • People often say that things like furniture polish work well to clean hair or fur, but you should avoid using them. Over time, these things can actually gather more dust and moisture.
  • You can also use compressed air or a vacuum with a soft brush for the scenery. Be careful to work gently and follow the natural direction of the skin.
  • Use a Q-tip dipped in glass cleaner to clean the eyes, and then use a clean, dry swab to polish them.
  • Even the most prestigious museums and trophy rooms have had items damaged by insects. Moths and tiny demisted or carpet beetles are the two types of insects that are responsible for this problem, so it is worth fumigating the room regularly.
  • A fine repellent mist should be sprayed all over the mount, and then the product should be carefully combed into the hair. A blow dryer can be used to restore the fluffy appearance of the fur on animals that have it.


How much does an Eland trophy cost?

The pricing of any trophy is subject to the costing stipulated per taxidermy order, quantity of trophies and preferred mounting options, along with additional requirements.

Should you wish to receive a quotation prior to the hunt, the taxidermist can generate such for you. Please contact [email protected]

How long does an Eland trophy take?

Taxidermy is an art form that involves a complicated step-by-step process to make sure that each trophy looks just right and is of a high enough quality that it will last your whole life.

The time it takes a taxidermist to mount an animal might range from days to weeks, and possibly several months, depending on the quantity of trophies per taxidermy order, the display preferences, and volumes of client trophies to be produced, simultaneously, per production schedule.

This depends largely on the “what, how, when” factors. A taxidermy order also only becomes available for production scheduling upon receipt of the required deposit and trophy mounting instructions.

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