Mhorr Gazelle

Nanger lady mhorr

Common name

Mhorr Gazelle


In the western part of North Africa, the Mhorr gazelle was usually found in dry mountain steppe and grass steppe areas.


Subfamily: Antilopinae






between 174-202 days

Number of offspring





A grazing animal, it feeds mainly on acacia leaves, hard and rough grasses, bushes and millet grains.


12 years in the wild and up to 19 in captivity.

Biology and behavior

The Mhorr gazelle is the largest of the three subspecies of lady gazelle, reaching 70 kg in weight. With fine legs and a long, slender neck, it has a shiny coat that is characterized by the fact that both the face, the lower part of the body, and a characteristic patch in the throat area are white, while the rest of the body It is an intense reddish brown color. Unlike the other subspecies, this brown mantle covers its entire back.

Both males and females have a pair of ringed horns that measure between 20 and 40 cm. They are shorter and thinner in females and grow curving until they acquire a characteristic “s” shape.

In addition to the thickness and length of the horns, males and females also differ in their size and weight, with males being somewhat larger and heavier.

They are social animals that live in herds in which there is a dominant male who shows and signals his status by staying apart from the rest of the group or rubbing his antlers on bushes and grasses. Furthermore, when he performs displays of strength, he uses his horns in a threatening manner by moving his head as if he intended to engage in a fight with other males.

During the mating season, males perform different displays in order to attract the attention of their partner, such as jumping, raising their nose, adopting upright postures, kicking with their front paws or touching, nibbling or licking the female. his snout. Females, for their part, when they are receptive, usually walk in circles, perform elegant turns or keep their tail raised to indicate that she is ready to mate.

When a Mhorr gazelle detects and locates a predator, it adopts an alert posture and often stomps hard on the ground, walks in circles, twists on its flanks or snorts in order to warn members of its group. Well adapted to running quickly, their main defense strategy is to flee.


When feeding, they often stand on their hind legs in order to reach the highest leaves on trees. Additionally, they are able to obtain most of the water they need from the plants they eat.

Due to indiscriminate hunting, the Mhorr gazelle is extinct in the wild. Its existence today is due to the efforts of Professor José Antonio Valverde, who in 1975 recovered and transferred some specimens from the ancient Spanish Sahara to the Saharan Fauna Rescue Center (CRFS), dependent on the Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC), and that it was created expressly in Almería to house this and other Saharan species.

Descended from Professor Valverde's 11 “Sahrawi refugees”, today there is a population of 300 specimens living in 10 European, 11 North American and 1 South African zoological institutions. The case of the Mhorr gazelle is an example of the importance of captive reproduction and cooperation between zoos and public institutions.

So far, 5 reintroduction initiatives have been carried out in Morocco (Bou-Hedma National Park and Domaine Royal R'Mila), Senegal (Guembeul Fauna Reserve and Ferlo North Fauna Reserve) and Tunisia (Bou National Park Hedma).

African savanna
Equatorial jungle
Madagascar Island