The eland according to MammalMAP
The relationship between humans and eland is one that dates back through the ages, as is indicated by the prevalence of eland paintings in Bushmen rock art. As Tim Forssman and Lee Gutteridge explain in their book ‘Bushman Rock Art: an interpretive guide’: “Both the /Xam and Kalahari Bushmen believed the eland was the most powerful animal of all…This power, or potency, was harnessed by shamans in order to enter the spirit world where they would perform various tasks including healing, protecting the community or controlling the rain”. Common Eland, along with the Giant Eland (Taurotragus derbianus), are the largest and slowest antelopes in the world. However, despite their lumbering load and slow pace, they have incredible running endurance and can jump 8ft high from standing position. These grazing beasts occur in grasslands and woodlands from South Africa in the south, to Angola in the west, to Ethiopia in the east, and into the Sudan in the north. They have an IUCN status of Least Concern. Although widely distributed, their densities typically remain low as a result of human settlement and poaching.For more information visit the MammalMAP virtual museum or blog.
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