By Joe McFarlane
A 23-month-old orphaned gazelle hopped, skipped and jumped with joy as he experienced the joys of the wild.
Tom Tom, a Thompsons Gazelle who is being hand-raised at the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust’s Nairobi Nursery, was filmed as he experienced a walk on the wild side.
Tom Tom can be seen experiencing the wide-open spaces of Nairobi National park where he will one day reintegrate into local wild populations.
From hopping backwards and forwards to taking off at lighting speed and sprinting around his home to happily galloping proud as punch, Tom Tom was exploring his wild ‘playground’ where he can learn about his environment and meet new, wild friends.
Rob Brandford, Executive Director of the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, said: “As well as looking like he’s leaping for joy, Tom Tom is playfully, and proudly, showing off his ‘stotting’ skills, also known as pronking.
“This is when gazelle’s spring high into the air and lift all their feet off the ground at once.
“There are several explanations for this behaviour that range from a show of display or a signal to predators that they would be hard to catch.”