The Dama Gazelle
; formerly Gazella dama
) is a species of gazelle
. It lives in Africa
in the Sahara desert
and migrates south in search of food during the dry season. Their habitat includes open steppes, bushy, grassy steppes, semi-desert, and deserts, while their diet includes grasses, leaves, shoots, fruit, and especially Acacia leaves. After the rains return and the desert plants turn green, the gazelles move north back to the Sahara. Poaching and destruction of their habitat have greatly diminished their numbers, and they no longer live in large herds.
These animals are white with a tannish-brown head and neck. Both sexes usually have medium length ringed horns curved like an "S." Males' horns are about 14 inches long, while females' horns are much shorter. The gazelles' heads are small with narrow muzzles, their eyes are relatively large, and they have longer necks and legs than most gazelles. These animals are between tall at the shoulder, weigh between 35 and 75 kg (77–167 lbs) and have a life span of up to 12 years or 18 in captivity. An interesting fact is that after just a few days following birth, dama young are strong enough to follow the herd, and after a week, they are able to run as fast as the adults. They can reach running speeds of to up .
Dama gazelles have been split into 7, 5, or 3 subspecies, with 3 the currently... Read More