Mammals

Arabian Oryx

Oryx are beautiful antelope with long, straight, and slender horns. These horns, carried by both males and females, give them the nickname spear antelope.

This is the most specialized oryx species for living in true desert extremes. Its light color reflects the desert heat and sunlight. The oryx can erect its hair on cold winter mornings to capture warmth to hold in its thick undercoat.

Bighorn Sheep

Bighorn sheep may not seem exciting at first glance. But wait until you get to know them better! They have amazing climbing talent, spectacular horns, and can live in some of the world's steepest, most forbidding habitats. Bighorns are worthy of attention and appreciation.

The current range for Peninsular bighorn sheep is from the San Jacinto Mountains near Palm Springs, California, to the U.S.-Mexico border. The surefooted sheep walk on two toes—the third and fourth—on each foot. The bottom of each foot is soft, giving them the ability to climb on rocks with a secure foothold.

Warthog

Warthogs may not be the most beautiful or graceful of creatures. But they are remarkable for their strength, intelligence, and flexibility! Unlike many of their African counterparts, they are not endangered, due to their skill at adapting to new threats. For example, most warthogs forage during the light of the morning and early evening. But if people start hunting them, they switch to foraging at night.

Cheetah

Long and lanky, cheetahs are the sprinters of the cat world. Their body is designed to run fast for short distances, allowing them to catch prey that other big cats can’t get.

The cheetahs’ ability to run starts with their flexible spine. It allows their front legs to stretch far forward on each stride. Cheetah claws are hard and sharp like cleats, giving them great traction when they run. You can watch a cheetah run at full speed after a mechanical lure daily, during the Park’s popular Cheetah Run.

Okapi

The okapi (pronounced oh-COP-ee) is a beautiful and unusual animal. With its white-and-black striped hindquarters and front legs, is it related to zebras? No! Take a look at an okapi’s head, and you’ll notice a resemblance to giraffes. The okapi is the only living relative of the giraffe.

Gorilla

Gorillas have always fascinated guests. They are the largest of all primates, animals that include monkeys, lemurs, orangutans, chimpanzees, and humans. Gorillas are peaceful, family oriented, plant-eating animals.

Red River Hog

Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but there's more to wild swine than meets the eye! Attractive red river hogs do not live in a red river! Instead, their reddish brown fur and the fact that they often wade through water gives them their common name. The colorful hogs are active both day and night and are good swimmers, holding their tail above the water. They can also swim underwater, catching a breath every 15 seconds or so.

Meerkat

Meerkats may look like prairie dogs on a diet, but they are mongoose relatives. You might see them digging in the dirt for insects to eat or adding on to their extensive underground burrows. These little carnivores live and work together in a group called a gang or a mob for the common good. They may help by caring for youngsters or keeping a lookout for danger.

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