In the past, the attractive Soemmerring’s gazelles used to gather in their hundreds as they undertook seasonal migrations (2). Today, this magnificent sight is rare, as the gazelle is seldom seen in herds composed of more than 15 individuals. These are often herds of females and their young, accompanied by a single adult male on his territory. The territorial male marks his range with dung, and should another male venture onto his land, aggressive confrontations may ensue (2). Such encounters involve scraping their horns on the ground (3), head-flicking, and yanking their opponent’s horns sideways in an attempt to destabilise their rival (2).
Mating in Soemmerring’s gazelle peaks between September and November (2). After a gestation of around 198 days, the female gives birth to a single calf that lies well hidden in grass until it is strong enough to keep up with its mother (3). This usually takes about a month (2), during which time the mother returns to her calf only to nurse it (3). By the age of six months the calves are weaned, and by just 18 months the gazelle is sexually mature and capable of reproducing. Soemmerring’s gazelles live for up to 14 years (2).
Soemmerring’s gazelles feed primarily on grasses (5); their narrow muzzle and mobile lips enable them to carefully select the best quality grass (3). The main predators of Soemmerring’s gazelle include cheetahs, lions, leopards, Cape hunting dogs, hyenas and even pythons (3).