Thursday 29 September 2016

A big leap for Fota with birth of Oryx calves

David Kearns

Published 25/03/2016 | 02:30

Two of the new baby Scimitar-horned Oryx recently born in Fota Wildlife Park, Cork
Two of the new baby Scimitar-horned Oryx recently born in Fota Wildlife Park, Cork

The birth of three Oryx calves at Fota Wildlife Park marks a major leap forward in the global effort to save the highly endangered species.

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Officially extinct in the wild, the scimitar-horned Oryx is dependent on breeding programmes like those managed by the 75-arce wildlife reserve near Carrigtwohill, Co Cork.

"We were delighted to be able to introduce our three latest additions to the park … these births are very significant as the Scimitar-horned oryx is considered extinct in the wild since 2000," said a spokesperson for Fota Wildlife Park.

"It now only exists within zoos and wildlife reserves around the world. There are only about 1,200 of these beautiful animals left."

The three cream and white coloured antelope calves are two weeks old now, and weighed about 12 kg when born.

The new arrivals bring the number of Scimitar-horned Oryx calves bred by the wildlife park to 119 since the herd first arrived in Cork in 1983.

Irish Independent

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