What is the National Animal of Malawi?

malawi national animal

Malawi national animal – Thomson’s Gazelle

Thomson’s Gazelle is the national animal of Malawi which is also known as Springbok in Afrikaans (It means ‘jumping antelope’). Its scientific name is Gazella. It belongs to the family of Bovidae, Order of Artiodactyla and subfamily of Antilopinae.
The name of this animal is originated from the Persian word ‘ghazal’ which means ‘deer’.

Gazelles are mostly found on grasslands, savannas and semi-deserts.

The natural habitat of gazelles is in Africa and Eurasia. Some species of gazelles live in Iran and Afghanistan while others live in Sahara desert (North Africa).

They are herbivores animals and eat primarily leaves, flowers, fruits, seeds and shrubs. They can be seen near water sources in dry areas like mountains and deserts.

Thomson’s Gazelle Physical Description

Gazelle is the native animal of Malawi which is also known as ‘zoor’ in the Arabic language. Gazelle is a small, beautiful and graceful animal. It has long ears, slender legs and elongated neck. They have a furry coat and their belly, throat and rump are white.

Scientific Classification of Gazelle

Scientific Name Kingdom Class Order Family
Gazelle Animalia Mammalia Artiodactyla Bovidae
Population Size Life Span Weight Height Length
140,000 12-14 yrs 35-80 kg 74-91 cm 140-166 cm

The tail is short or even missing in some species. They are generally found in the desert areas of Africa and Asia. While they are not endangered, they face several threats like hunting, habitat loss and climate change.

Fun Facts about Gazelle: Malawi national animal

  • Gazelle is the famous and native animal of Malawi country.
  • Being so small, gazelles can run very fast to get away from their enemies, such as lions and cheetahs. Their long legs help them do this.
  • The name ‘gazelle’ comes from the Arabic word ghazal, which means ‘to jump quickly’.
  • Gazelles can run at a maximum speed of 80 km/h (50 mph) for up to 1.5 km (1 mile).
  • Most female gazelles are pregnant for 7-8 months after which they give birth to a single baby called fawn or calf.
  • Being so small, gazelles can run very fast to get away from their enemies, such as lions and cheetahs. Their long legs help them do this.
  • Gazelle is the fastest mammal in the world and can reach speed up to 60 miles per hour, or 99 kilometers per hour.
  • These animals have many enemies including lions, cheetahs, hyenas, humans (they hunt them) and eagles. Many gazelles are killed every year by these predators or people who hunt them for meat or fur.
  • There are 17 species of gazelle
  • Gazelles eat mostly leaves, stems, fruits, seeds and flowers of plants that grow on grasslands and savannas.

Why is Gazelle the national animal of Malawi?

Gazelle was selected as a national animal in the year 1973. The Gazelle is the native animal of the Malawi region. Malawi is a state in Western Asia, on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea.

Did you know? What is the national animal of Palestine?

There are many reasons behind choosing such an animal as a National Animal. The Gazelle represents their culture, heritage and history. Due to all these facts, Gazelle declared as official and national animal of Malawi.