Animal Facts

  • Genus:

  • Species:

    Oryx dammah
  • Conservation

    Extinct in the Wild
  • Found In:

  • Length:

  • Weight:


Meet the stunning oryx!

Scimitar-horned Oryx are an antelope from North Africa, characterised by their large sweeping curved horns that resemble a scimitar sword.

The first oryx arrived at Monarto around 1989. In 2011 Monarto receive a large mixed sex group of oryx from Mary River in the Northern Territory. The group came from a self-sustained, wild population, which was released into Mary River a few decades prior and had been allowed to breed and thrive in a very large, naturalistic environment. Due to living as a wild herd the group display very healthy, robust herd behaviour which is great to see.

The park has had excellent breeding success with over 50 calves bred since 2011, helping to ensure the future of this species within the region.

Once found widespread across North Africa, Scimitar-horned Oryx are now classified as extinct in the wild. This status can be attributed to uncontrolled hunting, excessive drought, agricultural encroachment and excessive grazing of the limited vegetation by domestic livestock.

As they evolved in sub-saharan Africa, they are able to tolerate an extremely hot climate. Monarto’s 44 degree summer days are a walk in the park for this species.

Despite their extinct classification in the wild, it’s estimated that 9,000 oryx are kept in zoos, safari parks, ranches and public holdings around the world. Since 2005 some of the animals in the breeding program have been released into protected areas in Tunisia, Morocco and Senegal.

Love Scimitar-horned Oryx? Join the herd to ensure oryx survive for generations to come! There are many ways you can help support this rare species.

Get Involved

Adopt Donate Membership

About Zoos SA

Zoos SA is a not-for-profit conservation charity that exists to connect people with nature and save species from extinction.

Zoos SA acknowledges the Country on which we stand always was, and always will be, Aboriginal land and we pay our deepest respect and gratitude to Kaurna (Adelaide Zoo) and Ngarrindjeri (Monarto Safari Park) Elders, past, present and emerging.

We undertake critical conservation work throughout Australia and acknowledge the traditional custodians of these lands.

Sign Up to Our Newsletter

Stay up to date with zoo news and sign up to our Zoo Times eNewsletter