Saturday, July 17, 2010
1. It comes from Africa, just like basenjis do.
2. It is extinct in the wild, but there are a bunch of them in zoos.
3. If you say "oryx" several times in a row, it sounds funny, like a parrot squawking.
Another thing that oryxes need is water, but they don't need as much of it as you might think. And that is because oryxes have a special way of storing up water in their kidneys instead of peeing it all out. And also they can make their bodies hotter, like as hot as 116 degrees, so that they don't sweat.
There used to be thousands and thousands of scimitar-horned oryxes in Africa, and they lived in big herds because they like to be chummy with other oryxes. Usually, a herd was between 20 and 40 animals, but when they were migrating, there might be 1,000 or more of them all traveling together.
Anyway, there is a plan to bring some of these animals back to Africa and let them live in the wild again. A herd of them is already living in a fenced preserve in Tunisia, and there are also some in Israel. And soon Niger may have some, too.