Elands are the largest antelopes of Africa, standing about 1.5 m (5 ft.) high at the shoulder. A fully grown male may weigh more than 910 kg (2,000 lb). Both sexes have heavy, spirally twisted horns of up to 1 m (3 ft.) in length.
Herds of female elands with calves often associate with zebras because the two species complement each other in sensory and defensive capabilities. Young elands shield behind their mothers when attacked. The females group together and drive away the predator. This behaviour, while effective against most predators, makes the eland more vulnerable to human hunters.
Elands originally ranged throughout the savannahs and wooded savannahs of south and central Africa. The herds wandered nomadically in response to seasonal changes. Elands have disappeared from large parts of their former range, mainly because of excessive hunting and destruction of the habitat for agriculture. The long-term survival of this species is dependent on good conservation measures.