Dorcas Gazelle

Gazella dorcas

Dorcas Gazelle, Gazella dorcas, an antelope species, is the best equipped member of the genus Gazella to inhabit dry areas. When conditions are harsh, dorcas gazelles live in pairs, but when conditions are more favorable they occur in family herds with one adult male, several females and young. They may go their entire lives without drinking any water, obtaining all needed moisture from the plants they eat. This true-antelope species, taken as a synonym for beauty both in the bible and the Yoruba culture, is possibly extinct in Nigeria or existing in northern part of the country as vagrant. It is praised in an Oriki as: Eranko abarayòyò Egbin dára títí, translating as: “the animal that has a smooth body; Gazelle is so beautiful”. When Gazelle Dorcas feel threatened they make short loud snort call, which sounds like a bark. They are excellent runners and can reach speeds of up to 80 km/hr.

Dorcas Gazelles are generally pale colored with a white underbelly and two brown stripes on either side. Horns are present in both sexes, male’s horns being longer and thicker. Their horns have the most pronounced curve of members of Gazella. A single precocial fawn is usually born after a gestation period of six months. Lifespan in captivity is about 17.1 years, 4.6 years up from that of the wild.

Tope Apoola
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