Saturday, June 12, 2010

Today, I caught the eland at the zoo close to the fence chewing cud. This gave me a great opportunity to draw him since he is usually hiding in the back of the enclosure.

This particular guy has had a rough time. Several years ago the keepers found him one morning with a shattered jaw. Theory is that one of the zebras kicked him. Anyway, the poor guy ended up having half of his bottom jaw removed. During transit back to the zoo he managed to rip his ear and sit on his tail. Now he's missing a huge chunk of his left ear and his tail has atrophied off to a nub. Due to his lack of jaw bone, his tongue constantly dangles out of his mouth. A keeper told me they were afraid he wasn't going to make it after his surgery since he had such a hard time eating. He has since learned to deal with his missing jaw and is quite frankly the biggest eland I have ever seen in a zoo.