A travelling herd of eland is bucking up the Cape's endangered ecosystems

Enormous antelopes are ‘pruning’ the veld at Vergelegen — thanks to the efforts of the Gantouw Project

08 November 2020 - 00:00 By Janine Stephen

Zoologist Petro Botha did wonder if the five full-grown eland she'd raised since they were knock-kneed calves would stop trusting her after her visits dropped from daily to weekly. Before that, the lockdown had forbidden contact for weeks.

But after a hard morning's grazing and data collection, the eland — antelope that can weigh as much as a buffalo — curled up like cats around her. Liquid eyes closed, noses tucked into flanks, they drifted off for an afternoon nap. An eland, dreaming deeply by your side? That's when you know you're still part of the herd...

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