Tuesday 20 November 2018

Dublin zoo is celebrating the birth of an oryx - classified as extinct in the wild

The week-old oryx at Dublin zoo. Photo: Dublin Zoo
The week-old oryx at Dublin zoo. Photo: Dublin Zoo
A male scimitar-horned oryx was born at Dublin zoo last week. Photo: Dublin Zoo
Mother and baby together at Dublin zoo. Photo: Dublin Zoo
A baby oryx with his mother at Dublin Zoo. Photo: Dublin Zoo
Geraldine Gittens

Geraldine Gittens

Dublin zoo is celebrating the birth of a male scimitar-horned oryx, a species classified as extinct in the wild.

The healthy calf was born last Wednesday, July 25, weighing around 25kg. He brings the herd at Dublin Zoo to a total of seven.

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.

A male scimitar-horned oryx was born at Dublin zoo last week. Photo: Dublin Zoo
A male scimitar-horned oryx was born at Dublin zoo last week. Photo: Dublin Zoo

Dublin zoo team leader Helen Clarke-Bennet said, “We are so pleased to welcome our newest addition to the scimitar-horned oryx herd and recognise the impact this birth makes on the conservation efforts being made to protect this species. Both mother and calf are doing extremely well – we are delighted to report he was up and running about just one hour after birth!”

Mother and baby together at Dublin zoo. Photo: Dublin Zoo
Mother and baby together at Dublin zoo. Photo: Dublin Zoo
A baby oryx with his mother at Dublin Zoo. Photo: Dublin Zoo
A baby oryx with his mother at Dublin Zoo. Photo: Dublin Zoo

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