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ARABIAN ORYX

EXTINCT — BUT NOT FOREVER!

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

The scientific name for the Arabian oryx, Oryx leucoryx, means "white oryx" and is a great description of these beautiful antelope. This is the most highly specialized oryx species for living in true desert extremes. Their light color reflects the desert heat and sunlight, and they can erect their hair on cold winter mornings to capture warmth to hold in their thick undercoats. Their legs also darken in the winter to absorb more of the sun's heat.

Sadly, this antelope of the Arabian Peninsula and Sinai Desert became extinct in the wild by the late 1960s, mostly due to hunters with high-powered rifles. To save the species, nine Arabian oryx from private collections in Oman, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia, as well as from the London Zoo, were moved to the Phoenix Zoo in Arizona. A second breeding group of three oryx, from a zoo in Saudi Arabia, was started at the Los Angeles Zoo, and in the 1970s animals from both of these herds were sent to the Safari Park. As of 2010, 342 Arabian oryx have been born at the Park, with many returned to Oman and Jordan for reintroduction in their native range.

9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
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15500 San Pasqual Valley Road
Escondido, CA 92027-7017
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