A most beautiful and hearty antelope is the scimitar oryx, which was once also called the Sahara oryx, now extinct. However with the help of the Exotic Wildlife Association, Safari Club and dedicated exotic wildlife breeders in Texas, the scimitar is thriving and reproducing. The scimitar oryx formerly inhabited all of North Africa, though originally from Africa and Asia.
As with all antelope, the scimitar oryx has hoofs and hollow horns, but the difference with this antelope’s horns is a tight spiral with long length. Males dominate in size over the females averaging weight of greater than 400 lbs. and females up to 300lbs. Both sexes have horns, but those of the females are more slender. The horns are thin, and symmetrical; curving backwards reaching over 40 inches, on both the males and the females. The animals are large in comparison to other antelope with a white color, large head and unique honey to light brown coloring on the neck.
The scimitar oryx forms herds of mixed sexes usually guided by the bulls and maintain a tight familial relationship with the herd. The scimitar are more curious than other species, inhabiting semi-desert areas, as well as deserts and are adapted to living in the extreme heat, with very low water requirement. Scimitar oryx feed during the night and early morning on foliage and more tropical plants than do cattle or sheep. The terrain and climate of Central Texas has proven to be an exceptional habitat for this species. Their gestation period is eight to nine months. One calf is born, rather than multiples. Normally calving is between March and October. Both males and females reach sexual maturity at 1.5 to 2 years of age.
RCR participates in the federal captive breeding program and has dedicated our ranch to the preservation of the scimitar oryx. With the help of land and animal management programs in the exotic breeders industry, Exotic Wildlife Association and Safari Club International, this species should continue to thrive for the benefit of future generations.