Posted In Animals | 1st August 2018

Dublin Zoo Welcomes Birth of Extinct in the Wild Scimitar-Horned Oryx

Dublin Zoo is proud to announce the birth of two a male scimitar-horned oryxes, a species classified as extinct in the wild. Born on Wednesday, July 25th  and August 13th respectably the healthy new calves weighs approx. 25kg and brings the herd at Dublin Zoo to a total of eight.

The scimitar-horned oryx was once widespread across northern Africa, but due to overhunting, habitat loss and competition with domestic livestock, they have gradually disappeared from the wild. The species have now been classified as extinct in the wild by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), as there has been no definitive evidence of their presence in the wild since the early 1990’s.

Dublin Zoo houses a breeding group of scimitar-horned oryx and since 2013, has financially supported the reintroduction programme for the scimitar-horned oryx in Tunisia. Through conservation breeding programmes, zoo-bred oryx have been reintroduced into semi-wild areas in four national parks across Tunisia. Currently there are over 200 oryx in such semi-wild areas.

Commenting on the birth, team leader Helen Clarke-Bennet said“We are so pleased to welcome our newest additions to the scimitar-horned oryx herd and recognise the impact these births makes on the conservation efforts being made to protect this species. Both mothers and calves are doing extremely well – we are delighted to report they were up and running about just one hour after birth!”