Marwell announces arrival of rare oryx

Basingstoke Gazette: Marwell announces arrival of rare oryx Marwell announces arrival of rare oryx

IT seems to be the baby-booming season at Marwell Wildlife this month as the zoo welcomes its second arrival in as many months.

Members of staff were delighted to announce the birth of an Arabian oryx who was born to seven-year-old mum, Renee, four weeks ago.

Little Lawrence is said to have settled in well and is often seen bounding around his paddock.

Collection manager at the zoo, Ian Goodwin, said the youngster is proving to be a strong character.

He said: “We are delighted by this birth because not only are the young oryx great to watch as they explore their new surroundings but this male calf was born to the most genetically important male in the programme. He is very important for the future of the Arabian oryx.

“There is still some way to go to help this species thrive in the wild. Building up and maintaining genetically healthy populations of animals such as this is very important. A studbook and breeding programme ensure as much genetic variation in the captive population as possible.”

Arabian oryx were once widespread on the Arabian Peninsula. Tragically, the last wild oryx was shot in 1972 and the species persisted only in captivity for a decade. They are now classified as extinct in the wild.

Earlier this month the Chronicle reported the arrival of Winchester’s very first anteater pup, Rojo, who the public helped name. Little Rojo was born to mum, Chiquita, and dad, Ernesto, after they had courted for nine months.

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