Flamingo Land is pleased to announce the arrival of a male scimitar horned oryx from a zoo in Europe. He will be introduced to our collection of five females in autumn, with the hope that he will breed with them.
This would fit in with the natural breeding season for these animals as the babies would then be born around March, ready for the slightly warmer weather and better conditions in spring.
Our scimitar horned oryx are involved in a European breeding programme because these animals are classed as extinct in the wild.
Therefore it is extremely important that zoos continue to breed this species to ensure it does not become extinct altogether. The main threats that these animals face include hunting for their meat, hides and their very large horns.
These animals are found in the Sahara desert so any droughts which occur can also affect populations if their food supply decreases.
They are able to survive without drinking for nine to ten months, so a lack of water would not be a problem for them! Their kidneys are adapted to survive such extremes as they minimise the urine production, therefore retaining vital water in their body.
Reintroduction programmes are in place to gradually release these oryx back into the wild in Tunisia and Morocco.
Our scimitar horned oryx can be found in a mixed species exhibit in Flamingo Land with some of our lechwe, which is located next to our wallaby walkthrough.
The male oryx will be in the yard area during the day time, with the females being outside on the paddock.
At the end of the day they get switched around so that the male oryx has access to the paddock over- night.
The oryx have very large horns, so are easy to distinguish from the lechwe.