(Gazella dama) Northern Africa. Considered critically endangered, with population estimates between 500 and 2000 animals in their native habitat.
Dama gazelle are one of 3 U.S. exotic species currently included in a pending ruling to ban breeding, selling and hunting [Full Story - ADWA]
Watch the supporting video, brought to you by the EWA and Keith Warren’s “High Road Tv”.
Dama gazelle are the largest of the gazelles. Tall, slender body shape with long neck and legs. Coat is reddish brown with white lower half and legs, rump, and face. Also have a distinctive white throat patch. Percent of white varies widely within the race and saddle is often slightly lighter brown, sometimes extending as a streak onto haunches. Fawns are born tan, as are most gazelles. Slanting, S-shaped horns are seen in both sexes, with males’ slightly longer, averaging 14 inches in length. Slender tails are typically 10 to 14 inches. Body weights in males range from 120 to 185 lbs; females weigh 85 to 145 lbs.
A generally nomadic species traveling in groups of 15 to 20 animals. Spend considerable amounts of time grazing. Very flighty, alerting others by “pronking” (jumping straight up in the air with all 4 legs stiff). Male dama gazelle are highly territorial during rutting periods, typically docile otherwise. Fawns are “born on the run”, running as fast as adults only a few weeks after birth.
Preferred food is Acacia plants, but will utilize forbs and desert grasses. Often stand on hindlegs to feed on leaves and tender shoots. Considered well adapted for desert life, acquiring much of their daily water requirements from the plant matter they eat.
After a gestation period of 5,5 to 6 months, females give birth to a single young. Two births per year are possible in exotic populations.
12 years in captivity, sometimes reach late teens in captivity.
Keeping Dama Gazelle
Generally compatible with other species and may socialize with other gazelle and blackbuck antelope. No record of hybridization, but may cross with other large gazelle – Thompson’s gazelle and Sommering’s gazelle. Avoid keeping with gazelle with distinctly different coloration. If feeding hay, alfalfa and other high quality legume hays work best. Leafy vegetables and carrots can be offered to supplement diet. Avoid jumping fences, 6 ft. is usually sufficient.
Dama Gazelle Hunting
Expect to pay from $6,000 to $10,000+ for a dama gazelle in the U.S. –> Average cost of a trophy dama gazelle is ~ $7500.
Scoring Your Trophy Gazelle, Dama
SCI Record Book Minimums:
(N. America - Introduced)
|Gold||38 6/8"||36 6/8"|
Current Record(s) Held:
44 & 4/8 - Kenneth E. Behring - method: handgun (pictured)