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Eland calves born at Werribee Open Range Zoo

9 January 2017

There are some new faces on the savannah at Werribee Open Range Zoo, with the team welcoming the arrival of seven Eland calves during the last month.

Found across Southern Africa, Eland are Africa’s largest species of antelope, with males weighing between 400 – 1,000kg.

The new additions include four males, with the first calf born on 16 November and the last calf born on 14 December.

The youngsters spent the first few weeks off display with the herd, before venturing out into the savannah to meet rhinos, ostrich, zebra and giraffe.

As with a number of antelope species, female Eland often give birth close together, with their calves then forming a crèche. This helps to protect vulnerable calves from predators such lions and hyenas.

Since birth the calves have naturally formed their own crèche, hanging out together in their own group.

The adults still keep a close eye on the calves and there is always a doting mum in sight, with chaperone duties shared among the new mothers.

The calves will remain close together for the first few years of their life in this crèche or nursery, before joining their older herd mates.

Come and see them on Safari at Werribee Open Range Zoo!