On June 1st, the first day of summer, a new addition arrived to the largest eland antelope family at the Debrecen Zoo in Hungary, expanding the family to seven members. According to the zoo, the “little heifer is in good health, with an excellent appetite,” adding that the small antelope baby “is quite playful, too, which is great news for her siblings.” Visitors can see the baby with the rest of her family from today on, as she will be on exhibit in the Africa Panorama Enclosure.
One of the largest antelope species in the world, the eland antelope, also known as the common eland, is a rather uncommon sight at Hungarian zoos since it is found in no more than two of them, with the Debrecen Zoo as the only institution in the country that welcomes newborn calves each year.
Native to the dry and grassy savannas of Africa, the eland antelope (Taurotragus oryx) is a ruminant species belonging to the bovid family. A full-grown male may weigh up to a full ton and may reach a height of 180 cm.
Eland antelopes are truly impressive animals to look at, with their reddish or sand-colored coats, and white stripes from back to belly. They are mostly threatened by habitat destruction and poaching for meat, skin and trophies – they are therefore included in the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List.