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Lehigh Valley Zoo Announces Birth of Endangered Oryx Calf | WDIY Local News

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Lehigh Valley Zoo

The Lehigh Valley Zoo is celebrating the birth of a calf from a nearly-extinct antelope species. WDIY’s Sarit Laschinsky has more.

The Lehigh Valley Zoo recently announced that a scimitar-horned oryx calf named “Eclipse” was born on Nov. 9 to mother “Too Haute.”

According to a release, both the calf and mother are doing well, and spent some time off-exhibit to bond before rejoining the rest of the zoo’s herd. Female oryx give birth a single calf weighing around 20-30 pounds, and the young becomes fully independent around 14 weeks old, according to the zoo.

The animals have distinctive large, backwards-curved horns that grow to be several feet long, and were native to sub-Saharan Africa.

However, according to the National Zoo, the scimitar-horned oryx has been declared extinct in the wild due to a variety of factors including overhunting, habitat loss and persistent drought, though some reintroduction efforts are ongoing.

The Lehigh Valley Zoo is a member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, and participates in the Species Survival Plan for the scimitar-horned oryx. The zoo says its oryx are part of a breeding program to help maintain genetically diverse and demographically stable captive populations.

In the same announcement, the zoo also said it recently welcomed two new alpacas, four-year-old “Illuminati” and six-year-old “Havoc.”

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Lehigh Valley Zoo
Illuminati (left) and Havoc (right)

Native to the central and southern Andes Mountains in South America, the two new alpacas will join the zoo’s existing 15-year-old alpaca “White Lightning” and several other domesticated animals in the barnyard.

(Original air-date: 12/2/22)

Sarit "Siri" Laschinsky is WDIY's News and Public Affairs Director.
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