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We’re one step closer to our dream of a World Scimitar-horned Oryx Day!

May 29, 2024

scimitar-horned oryx looming over a camera trap in Tunisia

We’re delighted to announce that we’re through to the semi-finals in our bid to create a World Scimitar-horned Oryx Day.

As part of Love Your Zoo Week, The British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) invited nominations of overlooked animals for a world awareness day.

Marwell Zoo nominated scimitar-horned oryx. These previously Extinct in the Wild antelope are noted for their long, curved horns that resemble swords know as scimitars.

The great news is that we won our first public poll and we’re through to the semi-finals where every vote counts once again.

Votes are open for the semi final round of the competition for one day only on Wednesday 29 May and we’d be thrilled if we could make it through to the final.

If you still need a reason to vote for these impressive animals here’s our top 10 to give you food for thought:

10 Reasons to vote for a World Scimitar-horned Oryx Day

  1. Scimitar-horned Oryx love poking their noses into everything – especially camera traps resulting in some very amusing selfies.
  2. One of the first calves born at Marwell was a female called Jenny who was born on 15 March 1972.
  3. These impressive antelope can go up to 10 months without drinking water!
  4. They can smell rain from miles away and move towards it just as the grass starts to grow!
  5. Their horns can grow up to 1.5m long – longer than they are tall!
  6. Calves can run as fast as adults by the time they are 20 days old.
  7. In the wild, calves enjoy higher survival rates in areas where North African ostriches have been reintroduced. This could be because the elevated height of the ostrich (which grows to around 8ft when standing) means that they can spot African wolves sooner and the wolves lose the element of surprise.
  8. The Tuareg people of the Sahara associated scimitar-horned oryx with resilience and survival.
  9. The head of a scimitar-horned oryx featured in the first ever Marwell Zoo logo and is still part of the current logo used by the entrance to the zoo.
  10. Both males and females have horns.

Make your vote count here