Oryx

Brevard Zoo Keepers Raising Rare Oryx Calf

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On February 28, Brevard Zoo welcomed its second Scimitar-horned Oryx calf of the year!

Unfortunately, first-time mother, Kitcha, displayed no interest in the female newborn. Tests performed the day after birth showed the calf had not yet nursed, and a decision was made to pull her from the exhibit. She is now living in an area where she can see and smell the rest of the herd, and she is currently being hand-reared by the Zoo’s dedicated animal care staff.

“She was quite small as a newborn, so we are monitoring her weight and food intake,” said Michelle Smurl, the Zoo’s director of animal programs. “For the first four days, she was eating every four hours. As her weight increases, we increase her food intake and she is now eating three times a day.”

Mom, Kitcha, was born at Brevard Zoo in 2009. The new calf’s father, Nuri, came from Smithsonian’s National Zoo and now lives at Lion Country Safari. Nuri also fathered the male calf born at Brevard on February 3.

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4_170315007Photo Credits: Brevard Zoo

The Scimitar-horned Oryx (Oryx dammah) is also known as the Sahara Oryx. It is a straight-horned antelope that stands just over 1 m (3.3 ft) at the shoulder. Both sexes have horns, but those of the females are more slender.

They are social and prefer to travel in herds. Their habitat in the wild was steppe and desert, where they ate foliage, grass, herbs, shrubs, succulent plants, legumes, juicy roots, buds, and fruit. They can survive without water for nine to ten months because their kidneys prevent water loss from urination (an adaptation to desert habitats). They can also get water from water-rich plants.

Both males and females reach sexual maturity at 1.5 to 2 years of age. Gestation lasts about nine months, after which a single calf is born, weighing 20 to 33 pounds (9.1 to 15.0 kg). Twin births are very rare. Both mother and calf will return to the main herd within hours of the birth. The female separates herself from the herd for a few hours while she nurses the calf. Weaning starts at 3.5 months, and the young become fully independent at around 14 weeks old.

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Arabian Oryx Brought Back from the Brink!

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One of Marwell Wildlife’s most majestic animals, the Arabian Oryx, has been ‘brought back from the brink of extinction’ thanks to the work of dedicated conservationists. Successful captive breeding programs and re-introduction efforts mean the species has finally qualified for a move from the Endangered category to Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List. Marwell Wildlife, based in Hampshire, is home to the only breeding group of Arabian Oryx in the UK. Just last month, the park celebrated the birth of a female Arabian Oryx called Akilah.

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Photo credits: Marwell Wildlife

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Antlered Beasts in Record Numbers!

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Desert Antelopes, a highly threatened and beautiful group of animals, are a key part of Al Ain Wildlife Park & Resort’s (AWPR) conservation work. The year 2010 has seen a bumper harvest of young animals born in the zoo and a number of conservation research initiatives are moving ahead. 2010 marked one of AWPR’s best recorded year for Antelope births, with a record number of young Antelope raised, including 16 Scimitar-horned Oryx, 27 Arabian Oryx, ten Beisa Oryx, four Addax, three Chad Dama Gazelles, six Mhorr Dama Gazelles and six Speke’s Gazelles.

Addax-003 Addax babies huddle up behind Mom (above).

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Mhorr-gazelle-003cropA baby Mhorr Gazelle pauses during a drink.

More [PHOTOS] below the fold...

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Back from the Brink: Phoenix Zoo Pioneers Oryx Breeding Efforts

The Phoenix Zoo has pioneered efforts to save the Arabian Oryx from extinction.  In 1967, four years after the Phoenix Zoo started their oryx program, the species went completely extinct in the wild. Today an estimated 1,500 Arabian Oryx live in zoos and wildlife preserves around the world and most of these animals can be traced back to the original seven sent to the Phoenix Zoo in 1963.

Just recently the Phoenix Zoo (Twitter @PhoenixZoo) welcomed its 237th baby oryx calf. Named “Nadirah” (nuh-deer-uh), Arabic for precious or rare, the girl weighed only 13.5lbs at birth but will grow to be between 200-400 lbs in adulthood! She is reportedly strong, feisty, and quite vocal, just like her father.

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