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Friday 22 September 2017

Dublin Zoo announces birth of adorable new animal, feared to be extinct in the wild

Dublin Zoo welcomes a new baby scitimar-hormed oryx
Dublin Zoo welcomes a new baby scitimar-hormed oryx
Catherine Devine

Catherine Devine

Dublin Zoo has announced the birth of a baby scimitar-hormed oryx, a species classified as extinct in the wild.

The male was born on December 8 2016 and is the fourth member of the herd at Dublin Zoo.

Team leader Helen Clarke-Bennet said: “We are absolutely thrilled with the new arrival and recognise the significance of this birth in the conservation of the scimitar-horned oryx.

“The calf has shown strong signs of settling into its new surroundings and is mixing extremely well with the rest of the herd.”

There are now four members of the herd at Dublin Zoo. Photo: Dublin Zoo
There are now four members of the herd at Dublin Zoo. Photo: Dublin Zoo

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 for more than 15 years.

Since 2013, Dublin Zoo 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.

After a bumper year with many new arrivals, Dublin Zoo announced its highest ever visitor numbers with 1,143,904 people passing through the gates in 2016, over 40,000 more than 2015.

The baby scitimar-hormed oryx Photo: Dublin Zoo
The baby scitimar-hormed oryx Photo: Dublin Zoo

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