Neelix the Oryx


Staff member
Feb 14, 2021
Oh Baby! Our scimitar-horned oryx calf is growing up so fast!

Neelix nearly has his adult coloring completed! While he is still much smaller than the females, he continues to grow and will eventually weigh over 400 pounds. His adult coloration makes him highly adaptable to extreme desert conditions – the white coat helping to reflect the heat of the desert while his dark skin helping to prevent sunburn. Neelix’s dense eyelashes and strong eyelids help to protect against the blowing sand, while his wide enlarged hooves help him to walk easily on the sand.

One hundred years ago, thousands of these desert-adapted antelopes roamed the Sahara and Sahel regions of Northern Africa, but due to human disturbance, overhunting, drought and loss of food, the scimitar-horned oryx is extinct in the wild, although some re-introductions have begun.

If it weren’t for zoos, like Rolling Hills Zoo, the Scimitar-horned oryx would have completely disappeared. If you want to know more about our three amazing oryxes here at the zoo, come join us for a FUN and informative Oryx Keeper Encounter on Sunday, July 4th at 10 a.m.!


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