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Lehigh Valley Zoo Welcomes 10th Oryx Calf Since 2014, Mourns Loss of Wallaby | WDIY Local News

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Lehigh Valley Zoo

The Lehigh Valley Zoo is celebrating the arrival of a new endangered calf, even as it mourns the loss of another resident.

The zoo has announced that another scimitar-horned oryx calf was born on Aug. 4

According to a release, the currently-unnamed male calf was born to Donnar, a member of the zoo’s oryx herd who has successfully raised several other calves. The pair are currently bonding, nursing and resting away from the rest of the herd.

The new baby is the 10th calf born at the Lehigh Valley Zoo since 2014 and is the first time one was born in the zoo’s multi-species setting, after the oryx and eland herds were integrated this past spring.

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Lehigh Valley Zoo

The zoo previously celebrated the birth of another scimitar-horned oryx calf, named “Eclipse,” in November 2022.

The animal is known for its distinctive long, backwards-curved horns that can grow to be several feet long.

Oryx are native to Africa but have been declared extinct in the wild since the 1980s due to widespread over-hunting, habitat loss and persistent drought, according to the Smithsonian’s National Zoo.

Global conservation and reintroduction efforts for the animal are ongoing.

The Lehigh Valley Zoo has participated in the Species Survival Plan for the oryx for over a decade.

The SSP program is managed by accredited members of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, including the Lehigh Valley Zoo. It intends to manage a “genetically diverse, demographically varied, and biologically sound population” of animals.

The release said since the species was first brought to the zoo in 2007, it has served as a successful breeding ground for the endangered antelope.

In the same announcement, the zoo also announced that one of its tammar wallabies, Mose, unexpectedly passed way in early August at the age of 8.

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Lehigh Valley Zoo
Mose the tammar wallaby.

Mose arrived at the Lehigh Valley Zoo in 2015 from the Lincoln Children’s Zoo in Nebraska, along with his half-sibling Dwight, and the two lived together.

Zoo officials said Mose was "timid and a bit skittish" like many wallabies, ", but he would make his way over to Animal Care staff for his diet and to investigate new enrichment items."

"He also enjoyed taking naps in his exhibits’ bamboo forest, where he was very good at hiding in plain sight and having an occasional snack on nearby bamboo leaves"

The zoo said they plan on introducing a new wallaby to Dwight and the species’ habitat in the near future.

(Original air-date: 8/27/23)

Sarit "Siri" Laschinsky was WDIY's News and Public Affairs Director until 2023.
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