Thomson's Gazelle (Eudorcas Thomsonii
aka Tommy (plural Tommies) Appearance
The Thomson's Gazelle's distinctive wide black strip down the side sets them aside from other species of Antelope. Upperparts vary from reddish-beige to yellowish-beige. Underparts are pure white. A distinct white ring around the black eye. A constantly flicking hairy black tail is diagnostic. Males have long, ringed horns that grow close together in a slight V-shape. Females horns are shorter, more slender, not so heavily ringed and are frequently damaged. Thomson's Gazelles are the smallest, daintiest and fastest of all Gazelles. Similar to the larger Impala
and Grant's Gazelle
Thomson's Gazelles are the most common of the Gazelle found on Kenya's open stubby grassland. Larger populations are found along the Tanzania border, in particular, Masai Mara GR. Longevity
There seems to be no 'season' for mating, with Thomson's Gazelles lambs being dropped at any time of year, although this peaks at the end of the rainy season. After a gestation period of 188 days, a single lamb, weighing approximately 2.5kg is born, which will live up to 10 years. Predators
Thomson's Gazelle are hunted by all big cats and prefer the shorter grass for safety. Typically follow the Wildebeest
migration in their territory, for the shorter cropped grass. Behaviour
Thomson's Gazelle are found in herds of females (called 'does') numbering up to 60, led by an old female and accompanied by a single mature male. Individual Does constantly leave and join other herds. Rams (aka 'Bucks') are only territorial during the rut, fighting aggressively, although there is little posturing or ritual. Groups of male Thomson's Gazelles are called Bachelor Herds. Like most Gazelle and some Antelope, when threatened, Thomson's Gazelles 'pronk' - make stiff-legged jumps or 'stott' - the hairs on their white rumps are flared. Diet
Thomson's Gazelles are mostly grazers, feeding on short grass. They require regular access to water, not gaining any moisture from their food. Other Thomson's Gazelle Facts
Thomson's Gazelle are the world's most abundant Gazelle, with over 1 million in existence in Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia and Sudan.
Thomson's Gazelles were first identified by the Scottish explorer, Joseph Thomson (1858 - 1895), with Thomson's Falls also named after him. Photographs
Images taken in Kenya's Nairobi National Park, Masai Mara and Olare Orok Conservancy.