Thomson’s gazelle is one of more than 19 species of gazelles found in Africa. This gazelle is found in southern Kenya and northern Tanzania. Thomson’s gazelle is found in grasslands and open plains. Thomson’s gazelles are hunted for their horns, which are collected as trophies. Fortunately, the population of Thomson’s gazelles in the wild is stable, and they are not listed as endangered.
Thomson’s gazelle is one of the smaller gazelle species. Thomson’s gazelle can weigh 35 to 55 pounds and stand 22 to 26 inches tall at the shoulder. Males are physically larger than females.
Thomson’s gazelle has tan or cinnamon colored fur on the back of its body. The color of the belly is white. A black stripe runs down the body’s lateral side.
Thomson’s gazelle has stunning horns. Male horns are longer than female horns. They are ridged, parallel, and curved backward. Females have horns that are short and smooth.
Horns are used by males to topple opponents during territorial fights. The territory goes to the winner.
Thomson’s gazelles are herd animals. Females and their offspring typically make up larger herds. Males live in distinct herds and exhibit territorial behavior.
Urine, dung, and scent produced by a special gland are used to mark territory. Every day, scent gland secretion is deposited on a distance of 20 feet to mark the boundaries of territory.
During the dry season, Thomson’s gazelles migrate to better food and water sources. They frequently mix with animals of other species during migration, such as wildebeest, Grant’s gazelle, and zebra….
Thomson’s gazelles eat plants (plant eaters). Grass accounts for 90% of their diet. Thomson’s gazelle eats seeds and shrubs in addition to grass.
Thomson’s gazelles drink little water because they can extract moisture from the food they eat.
Thomson’s gazelle is preyed upon by numerous predators. Servals, jackals, pythons, baboons, and eagles are the main predators of young. Adult predators include lions, cheetahs, hunting dogs, leopards, and hyenas.
Thomson’s gazelle has a keen sense of smell, hearing, and vision, which it uses to detect predators in real time.
When threatened, Thomson’s gazelle can run at speeds of up to 40 miles per hour. Thomson’s gazelle occasionally jumps in the air with all four feet above the ground while running. This is also known as “pronking” or “stotting.”
Thomson’s gazelle breeds twice a year. Babies are born near the start of the rainy season.
Female gives birth to a single baby (rarely twins) who spends the first few days or weeks hiding in the grass. After that time, mother and child rejoin the herd.
Thomson’s gazelle can live in the wild for 10 to 13 years and in captivity for up to 15 years.