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A new chapter starts for this eland. Photos: Blaauwberg Nature Reserve

A new chapter starts for this eland. Photos: Blaauwberg Nature Reserve

This eland’s body language said it all. It looked raring to go upon its release into the unspoilt Blaauwberg nature reserve yesterday morning.

Jacques Küyler, Biodiversity Area Co-ordinator for the reserve, was as happy as the eland. He described the arrival of the majestic animal as “truly a historic moment”. The eland will be joined in the coming weeks by the rest of the herd. For the moment he will have to make do with getting to know his way around his new 1 445 hectare home and its inhabitants. These are six red hartebeest, 40 mammal, 166 bird, 30 reptile, 4 amphibian and 30 butterfly species.The eland is expected to adapt well.

According to experts this majestic buck can adapt well to the semi-desert, fynbos and the marshlands of coastal areas.

elandEland are not good with low temperatures but can “tolerate them for short spells.” They subsist on a diet that is as green as green could be; they are browsers and 92% of their diet can consist of grass. Küyler says that the reserve plans “to move the rest of the eland in the next few weeks depending on herd availability and weather conditions.” The first large mammals – the red hartebeest – were introduced into the reserve as recently as September.eland-2



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