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 Hirisute Thomson's Gazelle

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PostSubject: Hirisute Thomson's Gazelle   Sat Aug 21, 2010 8:32 am



By Andrea Mustain

When Paolo Torchio set out across Kenya's Masai Mara National Reserve a few weeks ago, it was just a typical Thursday morning for the veteran wildlife photographer, who has lived and worked in Kenya for two decades.

Torchio is intimately acquainted with the beasts that wander the nearly 600-square-mile game reserve, so he was astonished to see a terrier's face poking out of the tall grass.

"I was wondering, what is this dog doing?" Torchio said. "And when it came out from the grass, that was a surprise."

The hirsute creature that emerged was clearly not a dog. The animal had all the markings of a Thomson's gazelle (a type of antelope) but, like that old song from "Sesame Street," one of these kids was not like the others. This animal was covered with a strange, thick coat of hair, in stark contrast to the sleek Thomson's gazelles in its company.

"The funny aspect was that it wasn't affecting the relations with the other gazelles," Torchio said in a phone interview. "There was no problem between her and the other one."

Torchio crept alongside the shaggy creature for 15 minutes, snapping pictures, but eventually the spooked animal sped away. The Italian photographer spent the next five days trying to find the gazelle, but to no avail.

Experts are not quite sure what to make of the fluffy little gazelle, especially since Torchio's photographs are the only known example of such a beast.
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PostSubject: Re: Hirisute Thomson's Gazelle   Sat Aug 21, 2010 6:18 pm

You never know what nature will throw your way. That is one really wierd gazelle.
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PostSubject: Re: Hirisute Thomson's Gazelle   Sat Aug 21, 2010 7:49 pm

It sure is one messed up beast.
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