Gazella dama mhorr
Gazella dama mhorr
Mhorr's gazelles used to exist in the area of southern Morocco known as Western Sahara. Today they are found only in captivity.
Mhorr's gazelles used to reside in the desert and arid regions including open, dry landscapes. Mhorr gazelles are true desert animals.
The Mhorr's gazelles are the largest of all true gazelles. The Mhorr's subspecies has a head and body length of 4-5.75 feet and weighs as much as 188 pounds. Males are larger than females. The Mhorr's gazelle has a very slender body, and its neck and legs are longer than those of other gazelles.
They only have one calf at a time.
Females reach sexual maturity during their first year. A single precocious youngster is born after a gestation of 6-6.5 months and young are born singly. Births mostly occur in the spring when vegetation is most prevalent. Newborns lie outside the herd, hidden in foliage for the first few weeks after birth. Mothers come to nurse, calling the infant with soft bleating.
In the wild, mhorr gazelles were browsers and grazers, mainly taking whatever was the greenest of the woody plants, grass and herbs, depending on availability during the year.
In zoos, they eat herbivore pellets, browse and timothy hay.
In zoos, Mhorr's gazelles live about 12 years.
Mhorr gazelles are extinct in the wild. In 1971, the World Wildlife Fund established a private game reserve in Almeria, Spain. But the possibility of disease or disaster wiping out the entire population prompted conservationists to divide the herd and place them in several zoo locations across the globe.
The upper body parts and neck of the Mhorr's coat are a dark brown color that varies in darkness in different seasons. The head is lighter brown with white areas around the eyes and muzzle. There also is a spot of white on the front of its neck and a dark strip that runs from the eyes to the corners of the mouth. All of the body's under parts and rump are white as is the tail.
Both males and females have horns. These bend to the rear at the base but then curve forward and upwards. The horns have noticeable rings along their length.
Mhorr gazelles migrated north and south in herds of 10 to 30 during dry seasons when food was scarce. Herds numbered up to 100 in rainy seasons when food was plentiful.
When playing or alarmed, gazelles' exhibit either stotting or pronking gaits, bounding along stiff-legged with all four limbs landing together. Both males and females possess horns, possibly evolved in response to each having to defend its own food resources.
Mhorr's gazelles are diurnal, or active during the daytime, and can live in several different groupings. These groupings can comprise of single males, small groups of non-breeding males, small groups of females and their young, and small mixed groups of both sexes of all ages.