Wildlife in Serengeti-Park
Scimitar-horned Oryx | Oryx dammah
You will immediately recognize why the scimitar-horned oryx has this name: Anyone who sees this powerful animal, marvels at the very long horns bent backwards. In the males, these can be up to 150 inches long! When these animals are attacked, they first flee, then turn around abruptly, dropping skillfully onto their forelegs and lowering their heads so that the attacker directly feels their long horns. One hundred years ago, the scimitar-horned oryx was found in large herds throughout southern Sahara. Today it is one of the rarest and most endangered antelopes in the world. It is now considered extinct in the wild due to uncontrolled hunting!
The scimitar-horned oryx lives on the outskirts of the Sahara and is therefore one of the few animals that can handle the prevailing water scarcity and heat. They can even get by without water for months, because they get the liquid from the plants that they find in the barren landscape. These antelopes are active especially in the early morning and at night. At those times, they are able to walk over long distances. In the scorching heat of the day, however, they stand motionless and linger quietly in the landscape. The reason is the hunt, which was made on animals for years by cars and planes. Since there are no hiding places in the steppe, large herds were quickly destroyed. Thanks to breeding and reintroduction programs, the first small herds are now being kept in protected areas in Tunisia, Morocco and Senegal.