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Arabian Oryx: The unicorn antelope

Arabian Oryx , the unicorn antelope is rebounded from extinction with the efforts of IUCN through their captive breeding program and now their population is almost grown back with almost 1000 individuals. There was a time when Arabin Oryx was found largely throughout the Middle East. But they were ruthlessly hunted by Arabian princes in the start of the 19th centuries and till the 1980’s they were almost extinct.  Arabian Oryx love to live in gravel desert or hard sand and now they have been reintroduced in the hard sand areas of  Oman, Saudi Arabia, Israel, United Arab Emirates, and Jordan.

Arabian-Oryx-Ashton-photos. © Arabian Deserts : Middle East

The Unicorn Arabian Oryx is known as re’em in Hebrew and their diet mainly consists of vegetation like  treesbudsherbsfruittubers and roots. The adult Arabian Oryx may be of 65-75 KG and normally they prefer to live in groups consisting of  8 – 20 animals. But Arabian Oryx have also been reported in herds of up to 100. The female Arabian Oryx is mature enough to give birth between the ages of 25 and 46 months. No particular season for birth of young Arabin Oryx is observed. The female Arabian Oryx may produce a calf yearly under favorable conditions. The average age of Arabian Oryx is 20 years. The Arabian Oryx are socially compatible with each other and they pass the hotter part of the day lying and resting under the tree shades.

Arabian Oryx , the unicorn antelope which was already extinct  from the world due to over hunting and they were classified endangered on the IUCN Red List ,even now the reintroduced wild Arabian Oryx is under the extreme threat of poaching. In the late 1990’s almost 200 of reintroduced Arabian Oryx were killed again by hunters in Oman.


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