National Animal of Israel
Israeli Gazelle is the official national animal of Israel. Israeli Gazelle was entitled as the official Israeli national animal. The scientific name of the Israeli gazelle or the mountain gazelle is Gazella gazella. The word “gazelle” originated from the Ethiopian word “Dangelo” which means “swift deer.” Gazelles are known as speedy animals. Some are able to run at bursts as high as 100 km/h (60 mph) or run at a sustained speed of 50 km/h (30 mph).
This gazelle can be found in Arabian Peninsula, Egypt, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Syrian Arab Republic, Yemen, and the United Arab Emirates. They are seen in a broad variety of habitats in hilly and mountainous terrain, including light forests (especially oak and pine), fields, grasslands, and stony desert plateaus. The Israeli National Animal, the Israeli gazelle is hunted for skins, meat, and trophies. A lot of effort has been put into the conservation of this animal because it is a National Symbol of Israel.
Israel’s national animal Israeli Gazelle is an animal of the gazelle genus. Of all the animals in the Gazella genus, the mountain gazelle has the most slender built with relatively the longest neck and legs. The coat of the Israeli gazelle or the mountain gazelle is fawn to dark-brown on the back, neck, and head, while the belly and buttocks are pure white, with these tones being separated on the flanks by a dark narrow band. The coat is short, sleek, and glossy in summer, reflecting much of the sun’s radiation.
National Animal of Israel Facts
- Common Name: Israeli Gazelle
- Scientific Name: Gazella gazella
- Color: dark brown with the underparts, flanks, and limbs being light brown.
- Length: male-101-115cm; female-98-101cm
- Height: 60–110 cm (2–3.5 ft) high at the shoulder
- Weight: male-17-29.5kgs; female-16-25kgs
- Diet: herbivores. They are browsers and grazers, eating herbs and shrubs in the summer and green grasses in the winter
- Cubs: Females usually give birth to one baby per season and, on average, 11 in their lifetime
- Behavior: gazelles are diurnal and highly territorial. Their territories are widely spaced apart. They generally gather in three groups: maternity herds, bachelor male herds, and territorial solitary males
- Life span: 8-15 years
In winter the pelage is much longer, dense and rainproof, and not glossy, enabling the gazelles to withstand the heavy winter rains (800 to 1000 millimeters) in northern Israel. They are browsers and grazers, eating herbs and shrubs in the summer and green grasses in the winter. They are well adapted to living in harsh desert climates, being able to go without water for long periods of time. They utilize water from plants as well as dew, but also will visit waterholes on a frequent basis.
The National Animal of Israel, Israeli Gazelle are diurnal and highly territorial. Their territories are widely spaced apart. They generally gather in three groups: maternity herds, bachelor male herds, and territorial solitary males. Males attend to one or more females and they’re young generally in groups of 3–8. Estrous occurs every 18 days and lasts 12–24 hours, repeating until the female becomes pregnant. Males and females reproduce with various partners.
Females usually give birth to one baby per season (and, on average, 11 in her lifetime). The usual mating season is in early winter (October to November), although mating also occurs in the spring (April to mid-May) and at other times when food is plentiful. The gestation period is about 180 days. Newborns generally weigh about 11–12% of the mother’s weight.
Fights occur more frequently as males mature; however, fights between neighboring males are ritualized and less violent than when males fight over females. Immature bachelor males make more numerous contacts with their horns when fighting than do adult or territorial males. They regularly migrate over 75 mi (120 km) for food. Normally they will spend days resting and sleeping in hilly areas and later will descend to valleys in order to feed at night or in the early mornings.