All You Need to Know About the African Gazelle
Gazelles are part of the antelope family and has various subspecies.
These small, horned creatures with their graceful hops can be found in different parts of Africa. Often found in groups, these animals graze peacefully on the grassy lands of Africa.
Gazelles are an endangered species due to hunting, loss of habitat and farming.
12 to 15 Years
Up to 110 cm
Up to 25 kg
lions, cheetahs, leopards
Gazelles are part of the antelope family, with slender limbs and long necks. Their bodies consist of a tan colour, a white belly and a dark coloured stripe along the side of its body.
Gazelles feed on leaves and grass which also helps them stay hydrated since they live in dry areas in Africa. They can stand on their hind legs to reach the leaves on high branches.
These mammals feed in herds on the grasslands, often near zebras and wildebeest to stay safe from predators.
African gazelle can be divided into a large variety of subspecies. Let’s look at them individually below:
Grant’s Gazelle (Nanger granti)
Named after the explorer, James A. Grant, is the Grant’s gazelle. These large antelopes can reach a height up to 1.6 metres and a weight of 66 kg.
Slender-horned Gazelle (Gazella leptoceros)
These gazelles and stand out with their pale brown fur covering their body and their long, slender horns. They are now also endangered due to hunting and habitat loss.
Speke’s Gazelle (Gazella spekei)
Thomson’s Gazelle (Gazella thomsonii)
Dama Gazelle (Nanger dama)
Soemmerring’s Gazelle (Nanger soemmerringii)
Named after a German-Polish scientist, Samuel Thomas Soemmerring is the Soemmerring’s gazelle. Reaching a height less than a metre and a weight of 44 kg with a red coat and white underbody.
Red-fronted Gazelle (Eudorcas rufufrons)
This gazelle has a red coat with a white belly separated by a thick black stripe. These gazelle need to drink water occasionally so they cannot just survive retaining water from plants.
Gerenuk (Litocranius walleri)
Springbok (Antidorcas marsupialis)
The Springbok, (the national animal of South Africa) prefer to live in deserts, open plains and savannas. They have cinnamon coloured upper body coats, white bellies and lyre-shaped horns.
Cuvier’s Gazelle (Gazella cuvieri)
Also occasionally known as Edmis, mountain gazelles or Atlas, is the Cuvier’s gazelle with dark brown bodies with white underbellies and black stripes decorating their faces.
Dibatag (Ammodorcas clarkei)
Dibatag means “erect tail” in Somali as this gazelle holds its tail high and waves it as it walks or prances about. These gazelle are endangered due to habitat loss, droughts and poaching.
Among these predators are African Wild Dogs, cats like leopards and cheetahs, spotted hyenas, crocodiles, and jackals.
Infant gazelles are usually preyed upon by pythons, baboons and eagles.
Humans also threaten the existence of these animals by hunting them.