Scientifically referred to as Eudorcas thomsonii, the Thomson’s gazelle is named after Explorer Joseph Thomson belonging to the Eudorcas genus and is common in the region of East Africa where it is explored on East Africa Safari tours.
First described by Albert Gunther a British zoologist in the year 1884, the Thomson Gazelle belongs to Bovidae family and is known to be the world’s second fastest animal reaching a speed of 50miles per hour.
Thomson’s gazelle is a relatively small rising between 55 – 22cm at shoulder height and stretching between 20 – 35kg in weight though females can be 10kg lesser. The length of Thomson’s gazelle from head to body is 80 – 120cm. They are marked with white rings surrounding the eyes, rufous stripes that run from horns to the nose, black stripes that run from the corner of the eye to the nose, light forehead and dark patch on the nose as viewed on Kenya Tanzania Safaris and Tours. The male Thomson’s gazelles feature preorbital glands close to the eyes that are utilised for scent marking territory. Horns are present in both sexes and can stretch to 25 – 43cm among males and 7 – 15cm in females.
Thomson’s gazelle thrives in the savannah and grassland habits of Africa but majorly on the Serengeti Mara Ecosystem shared by Kenya and Tanzania. They prefer short grassland areas but can as well migrate into dense woodland and tall grassland. Thomson gazelles are mixed feeders that consume majorly fresh grasses in the wet season and more browse especially foliage from bushes in the dry season as explored on Africa Safari holidays in Tanzania and Kenya.
The gestation period of Thomson gazelles is 5 – 6 months and can produce two times a year with 1 – 2 fawns on each birth. Their lifespan is 10 – 15 years in the wilderness and because of their speed; they are majorly prone to Tanzanian cheetahs which can also run fast. Other predators take advantage of young and vulnerable adult gazelles.