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Friday, May 7, 2010

National Zoo: Rare oryx, extinct in wild, born

FRONT ROYAL, Va. – The National Zoo says a scimitar-horned oryx has been born at its conservation center in Virginia — the zoo's first such birth in 13 years.

Oryx are extinct in the wild. They are known for their curved horns that can be several feet long.

The female calf announced Wednesday was born April 9. She is the offspring of 3-year-old mother Jena and 13-year-old Dr. Bob.

The zoo is renewing efforts to breed the oryx, a type of desert antelope. There are now 16 of them at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal and one at the zoo in Washington.

The zoo is working with the Sahara Conservation Fund to help reintroduce the oryx to their native home on the Saharan range.

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