A strange, bearded antelope was spotted a few weeks ago in Kenya. It is not clear why this young creature so different from that of their relatives.
When a reporter Paolo Torchio in mid-July (Paolo Torchio) went to the National Reserve in Kenya Masai Mara (Masai Mara), it was just a typical Thursday morning for a veteran photographer of nature, who has lived and worked in Kenya for two decades.
By the nature of its activities Torchio is familiar with all the animals that live in the reserve, spread on an area of nearly 600 square miles (1,500 square kilometers), so he was very surprised when I saw the head of a terrier, show of tall grass.
"I was wondering what the dog was doing here?" - Says Torchio. "And when the animal came out of the grass, it was a real surprise."
Furry creature that appeared in front of me was clearly not a dog. Animal had all the distinctive features of the breed gazelle Thomson (Thomson’s), the type of antelope, but in the words of the old song TV show "Sesame Street," one of these kids was not like the others. This animal was covered with a strange thick hair, which is absolutely contrary to the external features of smooth Thomson’s gazelles, in which it was surrounded.
"The funny thing was the fact that this difference did not affect her relationship with the other gazelles," Torchio said in a telephone interview. "There were no problems between her and the other gazelles."
Torchio crept close to the shaggy creation of about 15 minutes, making photos, but ultimately mysterious beast It blew away. Italian photographer spent the next five days, trying to find a gazelle, but as it turned out no good.
Experts do not really believe in the existence of a small furry gazelle, especially since Torchio photos are the only known evidence of the existence of such a beast.
"At first glance, I can definitely say that it’s gazelle Thomson, and, judging by the size of the body and horns - a young female," - said Lanny Brown (Lanny Brown), a zoo keeper "Phoenix" (Phoenix Zoo) in Arizona, and the person authorized follow the Thomson’s gazelle in all of North America.
Mr Brown said the news of OurAmazingPlanet, that neither he, no other of his colleagues did not know of any documented cases of the existence of a hairy Thomson’s gazelle, or any other type of antelope, but he suggested that perhaps the animal is suffering hypertrichosis (hypertrichosis ), a phenomenon known as "shifter syndrome", which occurs in both animals and humans. The name speaks for itself - a genetic fault in the body triggers excessive hair growth on the body.
Or, according to Brown, this could be a manifestation of the symptoms of Cushing’s disease (Cushing’s), hormonal disorders, observed in different animals. The syndrome is most common among horses, and the affected animals often look like overgrown poodle.
According to the assumptions Brown’s unusual hair growth does not bode ill for the future of this antelope.
"Usually, gazelle-mother frantically react if a calf is something wrong. Takes a lot of energy, effort and risk in order to grow a calf," - says Brown.
"The fact that this furry gazelle was not rejected by his mother suggests that excessive hair growth was away when the gazelle was born, or that it does not cause outward deviation of obvious health problems."
Brown adds that he doubts that is too long sideburns will be able to slow down the speed of a gazelle Thomson, for which the rate is the main weapon against predators. These clever mammals are among the fastest on earth, running at speeds up to 55 and 60 miles per hour (89 and 97 kilometers).
Brown boldly asserts that even if the female will look a little strange, it will not bring her any problems in the mating season. "Male antelope are not too picky," - he concluded with a smile.