Guest blogger: De’Janae Burdette, Zoo Academy Student
Hi, my name is De’Janae Burdette and I am a Zoo Academy student .I’m in the 11th grade with good grades and a well-maintained GPA. I do all my work and nothing less is expected from me. As part of school, we spend time working with different departments around the Zoo, which is called a Lab. Right now, I’m in the Department of Visitor Experience & Fun, and am writing this blog post as part of that Lab.
One of the animals I find interesting at the Zoo is the Thomson’s gazelle. The main reason why my eye caught the gazelles were mainly because they were pretty active and they did a lot of social actions. Often called “Tommy,” the Thomson’s gazelle was named after a Scottish explorer, Joseph Thomson, who explored Africa in 1890. They did a lot of feeding, self-grooming, they were very active, and they were very social. The other reason why I chose to write a blog about this animal was because it was in the exhibit with other animals.
The Thomson’s gazelle originated in East Africa. The Thomson’s gazelle is one of the best-known gazelles. Their tan-reddish coats, long, curved horns and white rumps let you know that they are gazelles. It resembles a deer and is in the same family as goats, cattle, and sheep. The gazelle herd has up to 700 members.
The estimated population of Thomson’s gazelles is about 550,000 individuals. It is listed as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, mostly due to hunting. The African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) has helped the gazelles by creating a park that allows the gazelles to roam freely without being hunting. Parks are very helpful as they protect Thomson’s gazelles and other wildlife.
Here at the Zoo, we participate in a Species Survival Plan with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums for the Thomson’s gazelle to keep a healthy population in zoos. The keepers nurture them, feed them, keep them clean and make sure that they are living a good life while at the Zoo. The Zoo also supports the conservation of African savannah animals like gazelles in Kenya.
I hope you have enjoyed learning about the Thomson’s gazelle. Feel free to stop by the Zoo to see them in the Africa exhibit.