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New Arrivals Welcomed At Zoo

KSAL Staff - April 1, 2014 2:52 pm

oryx

Rolling Hills Zoo welcomes two new arrivals.

According to the zoo, two new scimitar-horned oryx have arrived. The addition of the two males marks the return of the species to Rolling Hills. Previously, Sahara and Sahel were part of the zoo family, but had both passed away.

The two oryx, Ndamukong, who will be four years of age in May, and Nas, who will be eight in just a few weeks, were able to be put on exhibit immediately upon their arrival from Kansas City.

“We are so pleased to have oryx back in the exhibit at the zoo” says Peter Burvenich, Curator at Rolling Hills Zoo “they are remarkable antelopes, and are a great asset to Rolling Hills Zoo.”

As part of Rolling Hills’ mission to provide fun and educational experiences surrounding the preservation of wildlife, the inclusion of this unique species makes an excellent addition.

The scimitar-horned oryx is a medium-sized, sturdy antelope with a short mane, shoulder humps, and long horns that are slightly curved with conspicuous rings. They weigh between 200 and 400 lbs, can be as tall as 54 inches, and the horns can be as long as 58 inches. Very often the horns will break off, and with only one horn, have given rise to the belief in unicorns.

The scimitar-horned oryx, once widespread in northern Africa, is now extinct in the wild. Its decline began as a result of climate change, and later it was hunted extensively for its horns. Today, it is bred in captivity in special reserves in Tunisia, Morocco, and Senegal.

The two new oryx are viewable to the public in their exhibit across the pond from Andean bears in the southwestern corner of the zoo.

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