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It's a Boy! Dama Gazelle Born at the Smithsonian's National Zoo

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Dama Gazelle

Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Bovidae
Genus and Species: Gazella dama

Also known as the addra gazelle, the dama gazelle is the largest of all gazelles. It is also the world's rarest.

Physical Description

This large gazelle has a slender neck and legs, and somewhat S-shaped horns. It is white with reddish-brown coloring, but the pattern varies by region. Dama gazelles in the western part of their range are more reddish-brown than those in the east. Coloration also varies by age and season. The head is typically pale.

Size

This gazelle may have a shoulder height of nearly four feet. Its head and body length may range from four and a half to five and a half feet, and its tail may be up to a foot long. Adults may weigh 88 to 165 pounds.

Status

The World Conservation Union's Red List of Threatened Species lists the dama gazelle as critically endangered. There may be only a few hundred of these gazelles left in the wild.

Geographic Distribution

Dama gazelles once ranged across northern Africa, from the Atlantic to the Nile. Now, they can be found in a few isolated areas in Chad, Mali, and Niger.

Habitat

These gazelles live on Sahelian grasslands, savanna, and sub-desert steppes.

Diet

Dama gazelles eat shrubs, succulents, herbs, trees, and woody plants.

Dama Gazelle

Reproduction

About six and a half months after mating, females give birth to a single fawn. It is weaned after about six months.

Behavior

They may lead a solitary life or live in a group of up to 15 individuals.

Fun Fact

Dama gazelles may stand on their hind legs to eat from acacia trees and other plants as high as six feet from the ground.