|Richard Rosevear, Director of Animal Welfare and Conservation
Lehigh Valley Zoo
March 6, 2017
|Schnecksville, PA – Lehigh Valley Zoo is happy to announce the birth of a scimitar horned oryx, an endangered species of antelope. The mother and male calf are doing fine and have spent some time off exhibit for bonding and to be monitored by the Animal Care and veterinary staff. The calf will be on exhibit with its mother beginning March 3 and over the weekend. Off exhibit, mom and calf have had a soft introduction to the rest of the herd being able to see, smell and possibly touch each other through an open grate fence. They will all be fully introduced next week.
Fortunately, there was a population of scimitar horned oryx in zoos. These animals were selectively bred in the Species Survival Plan program to help provide genetically healthy animals to reintroduce in the wild. A group of 25 oryx were initially released in a large fenced area this past March in the Ouadi-Rimé Ouadi-Achim Faunal Reserve in the African nation of Chad. After a period of adjustment and having radio collars checked, the oryx were released to the open reserve. The herd was monitored and found to be adjusting very, well even having several births, so a second group of 23 oryx was released in January. It is planned to eventually establish a herd of 500 animals.
The Zoo’s ongoing efforts with the scimitar horned oryx were recognized on a global level in 2015, as the Zoo received Top Honors in the International Conservation Award for AZA Zoos Giving Voice to the Sahara: Sahara Conservation Fund (SCF) as a model for a zoo-driven conservation movement. This annual award recognizes exceptional efforts toward regional habitat preservation, species restoration and support of biodiversity in the wild. Lehigh Valley Zoo was proud to share in this award with 52 other zoos who are united under that mission. Conservation and saving species from extinction are core ideals of Lehigh Valley Zoo,” said Richard Rosevear, Director of Conservation and Animal Welfare at the Zoo. “This is our fourth oryx calf born at Lehigh Valley Zoo and we are privileged to be part of a program that is reintroducing a species, which was extinct in the wild, to its native range.”
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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 @LVZOO