Once found widespread across North Africa, Scimitar-horned Oryx are now classified as extinct in the wild. This status can be attributed to uncontrolled hunting, excessive drought, agricultural encroachment and excessive grazing of the limited vegetation by domestic livestock.
As they evolved in sub-saharan Africa, they are able to tolerate an extremely hot climate. Monarto’s 44 degree summer days are a walk in the park for this species.
Despite their extinct classification in the wild, it’s estimated that 9,000 oryx are kept in zoos, safari parks, ranches and public holdings around the world. Since 2005 some of the animals in the breeding program have been released into protected areas in Tunisia, Morocco and Senegal.