Animal Facts

  • Genus:

    Oryx
  • Species:

    Oryx dammah
  • Conservation
    Status:

    Extinct in the Wild
  • Found In:

    Africa
  • Length:

    1.4-2.4m
  • Weight:

    90-210kg

Meet our stunning oryx!

Scimitar-horned Oryx are an antelope from North Africa, characterised by their large sweeping curved horns that resemble a scimitar sword.

Our first oryx arrived at Monarto around 1989. In 2011 Monarto receive a large mixed sex group of oryx from Mary River in the Northern Territory. The group came from a self-sustained population, which was released into Mary River a few decades prior and was being managed as a wild population. Due to living as a wild herd the group display very healthy, robust herd behaviour which is great to see.

Monarto has had excellent breeding success with four calves bred since 2011, helping to ensure the future of this species within the region.

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.

Love Scimitar-horned Oryx? Join our herd to ensure oryx survive for generations to come! There are many ways you can help support this rare species.

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Congratulations to our Chief Executive Elaine Bensted on receiving the #telstrabizwomen 'for purpose and social enterprise' award tonight.

About Zoos SA

Zoos SA is a not-for-profit conservation charity that exists to save species from extinction and connect people with nature.

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