BIRTH OF MALE ORYX AT STATEN ISLAND ZOO
WILL HELP RECLAIM SPECIES FROM EXTINCTION IN WILD
News of the timely birth of “Felipe,” a male Scimitar- horned oryx on Mar. 12, 2016 at the Staten Island Zoo, has rippled thousands of miles to North Africa, where efforts continue to restore the species, reclaiming it from extinction.
The Staten Island Zoo is the first zoo to exhibit the species in the New York metropolitan region, acquiring potential parents in 2014. It is now the first local institution to produce offspring, a healthy 20-pound calf. The oryx family, along with ostriches and southern ground hornbills, is exhibited in the Zoo’s Sahara Habitat.
Other AZA accredited zoos are participating in the oryx species survival plan. This large antelope species has been extinct in the wild since the mid-1980’s. At about the same time as the birth of Felipe, the Sahara Conservation Fund announced the controlled release of 25 adult oryxes within a gated reserve in Chad, Africa. The goal is to allow a self-sustaining herd to thrive in the wild.
The oryx birth demonstrates the Zoo’s commitment to conservation and education. It is a major success story to participate meaningfully in the restoration of an extinct species.