April 28, 2017 | Schnecksville, Pa – Lehigh Valley Zoo is happy to announce the birth of another scimitar-horned oryx, a critically endangered species of antelope still listed as extinct in the wild. The mother and male calf are doing well and have spent some time off-exhibit to bond with each other and to allow for monitoring by our Animal Care and Veterinary team. The as-of-yet unnamed youngster was born on April 9th. The calf will be introduced to Zoo Visitors this Sunday April 29th as he and mom will go on exhibit together for the first time.
“This calf is the seventh born at the Lehigh Valley Zoo and is the fourth calf born to her mother.” Said Zoo CEO/President, Melissa Borland “Until recently, scimitar-horned oryx were considered extinct in the wild. We are honored to be part of a program that is re-populating this species.”
Every birth is crucial to ensuring the survival of the species. Lehigh Valley Zoo participates in the scimitar-horned oryx Species Survival Plan (SSP) program, a cooperative effort among Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) accredited facilities. The scimitar-horned oryx SSP is part of the ongoing reintroduction plans to return these majestic antelope to their historic range. Once widespread in northern Africa, the scimitar-horned oryx was hunted to near extinction for its trophy horns, tough hide, and meat. Lehigh Valley Zoo joined with 52 other zoos to take part in a project organized by the Species Survival Plan, nurturing births from the herds residing in the zoos. In March of 2016, the first 25 oryx were released to the Ouadi-Achim Faunal Reserve. Following additional releases, there are now 90 oryx, born in zoos and conservation centers under this project, in Chad, Africa. The oryx released back into the wild are monitored by the team in Chad. The project reports the oryx are thriving in the wild and even had a few wild births.
On the heels of the arrival of the new calf, the Lehigh Valley Zoo will soon be sending a female oryx, born to parents at the Zoo in 2016, to another conservation breeding center as part of the recommendations by the scimitar-horned oryx Species Survival Plan. This young female will join a breeding herd of scimitar-horned oryx to be a crucial part of the ongoing efforts to protect the species from extinction. The Lehigh Valley Zoo participates in over 20 SSP programs.
Lehigh Valley Zoo is located at 5150 Game Preserve Road, Schnecksville, PA 18078.
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About the Lehigh Valley Zoo:
As a member-supported non-profit organization, Lehigh Valley Zoological Society was founded in 2004, but as a treasured community landmark, the Zoo’s history spans over a century. Founded in 1906 by General Harry C. Trexler, a local industrialist, the Lehigh Valley’s Trexler Game Preserve has educated and entertained more than five million people.
Accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the Lehigh Valley Zoo hosts year-round, family-friendly events and activities, educational programs, and camps. With a mission to create a safe, engaging and enlightening wildlife experience for guests of all ages, the Zoo demonstrates leadership in the cultural, scientific and conservation communities. To learn more about Lehigh Valley Zoo, we invite you to visit our website, www.lvzoo.org, or follow us on Facebook.