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As COVID-19 keeps people indoors, gazelles come out of the desert in Qatar
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As COVID-19 keeps people indoors, gazelles come out of the desert in Qatar

Tribune News Network
Doha
With COVID-19 confining humans mostly to their homes in Qatar, some animals that roam the desert are feeling emboldened to explore.
The Ministry of Municipality and Environment on Sunday tweeted a picture of a pair of Reem gazelles. They were seen walking around in the Maizilah region west of Sailiya.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature has declared the species vulnerable. So, they were caught and released into a protected area after being examined by veterinarians of the MME’s Nature Reserves Department.
In Qatar, the Reem or Sand Gazelles became extinct in the mid-1950s due to hunting, but have been reintroduced into reserves, such as the Ras Abrouq Peninsula, and are now thriving, according to Qatar e-Nature. Uncontrolled hunting and habitat degradation are cited as some of the biggest threats.
The largest gazelle species in Arabia, the Sand Gazelle is famed for its beauty and agility while running, Qatar e-Nature said. They are cautious animals, and run at high speed to avoid danger, without the leaping gait seen in other gazelle species. They are stockily built, and a light sandy colour. There may be ill-defined facial and flank markings and the undersides are white. The male has long, curved, lyre back horns and a goiter like swelling at the throat, which becomes more prominent in breeding time.
Sand Gazelle inhabit desert and semi desert areas, including sand seas. They are highly nomadic, travelling large distances for suitable forage. The extreme heat of this environment limits their feeding to the early morning and evening. Most of their water requirements are met from dew and plant moisture.

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