Gazelle, masters of grace and speed
Kenya features two species of gazelle: Thomson’s and Grant’s gazelle, both of which feed as grazers and browsers. The preferred prey of most predators, gazelles survive by being constantly alert and poised to flee within seconds of alarm (they can accelerate to a top speed of 80 kph when in flight). They have also evolved a sophisticated communication system consisting of a range of signals to warn against the approach of predators. The pretty Thomson’s gazelle, with its short stumpy tail perpetually in motion, is the smaller of the two and is famous for its stiff-legged standing-still jump, which is known as ‘pronking’. The larger impala-sized Grant’s gazelle can be differentiated by the fact that it lacks the distinctive black side stripe of the ‘Tommy’.