Car Collides With African Eland On Highway 400
Imagine driving down a Georgia highway after dark when a 400-lb. African eland steps into your headlights. Exactly that happened to a Cumming man in the southbound lanes of Highway 400 two weeks ago.
At about 11 p.m. Tuesday night, Oct. 17, motorists reported a large animal under the guard rail on Highway 400 approximately 1 mile above the Henry Grady Highway intersection. The animal turned out to be an eland. The impact with a vehicle had broken the animal’s legs, knocked its horns off and jammed it under the rail.
Oddly there was not a vehicle at the scene, but an Oldsmobile with a smashed front end was found 1 mile south of the collusion site. The car was empty.
The sheriff’s department traced the car to a 29-year-old Cumming man who admitted to having hit a large animal, but he thought it had been a horse.
The eland was extracted from the guard rail, picked up with a front-end loader and buried.
The exotic eland was one of two young females that belonged to Rick Duckworth, of Dawsonville. According to Rick, the eland is the largest of the African antelope. An eland is brown with white stripes on the body and black and white legs. Their long straight horns grow from the back of their head.
Rick has purchased the two eland eight months ago from a farm in Tennessee. The two eland had been as content as cows living on a 346-acre tract, but two days before this accident, one of the animal’s jumped the 4 1/2-foot fence and disappeared. Rick searched all the next day but did not find the animal until he was notified about the accident by the sheriff’s department. The destroyed eland was worth approximately $1,300.