04/04 ~ Recent birth of “Extinct in the Wild” animal
Greater Vancouver Zoo – PRESS RELEASE
Date: April 4, 2007
For Immediate Release
Recent birth of “Extinct in the Wild” animal:
Aldergrove – The Greater Vancouver Zoo is proud to welcome into the world the birth of a Scimitar-Horned Oryx, born on Wednesday March 28th. The male calf weighs in at approximately 15 pounds and is 8 inches tall. The World Conservation Union's Red List of Threatened Animals lists Scimitar-Horned Oryx as “Extinct in the Wild”.
New born – Scimitar-Horned Oryx
alongside his mom
Now Extinct in the Wild, the Scimitar-Horned Oryx once lived in the
northern African countries of Egypt, Senegal, and Chad. They have now
been reintroduced in Tunisia, Morocco and Senegal we believe through
protected conservation parks.
A few causes that have contributed to the extinction of Scimitar-horned oryx in the wild include: climate change, human encroachment on their habitat for agriculture, hunting, and excessive domestic livestock grazing on limited vegetation. Through the cooperative efforts of many North American and European Zoos, the populations of these desert antelope are now thriving.
Scimitar-horned oryx are mostly white with a reddish brown necks and marks on the face with a long, dark, tufted tail. Both male and female oryx have curved horns that grow to be several feet long and their white coat helps reflect the heat of the desert.
The calf’s mom is 3 ½ years old and weighs approximately 250 -300 lbs and is doing extremely well. The father is 3 years old and weighs between 300 – 350 lbs. Here at the Greater Vancouver Zoo we have a herd of 5 oryx’s including the new addition. Their diet consists of hay, special pellets and a little grass. Some scientists belive Scimitar-Horned Oryx live up to 20 years in the wild and up to 30 years in captivity.
Interesting fun-fact about Scimitar-Horned Oryx is they are able to raise their body temperature by several degrees, up to 40 C or 116 F, to conserve water by avoiding sweating. Isn’t that an unique way of coping with a shortage of water!
The whole family and the rest of their friends may be seen daily in the Zoo’s Oryx enclosure!
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