IUCN Red List classification
Extinct in the Wild
The extinction of the scimitar-horned oryx in the wild, the region’s largest antelope, has been a result of drought, hunting, desertification, encroachment of habitat and conflict. It was last photographed in the wild in 1982 in Niger. In 1985 ZSL funded the return of ten Scimitar-horned Oryx from UK zoos to Tunisia – today this group live in a fenced area of restored natural habitat and numbers currently fluctuate between 40 and 100.
Where they live
Once lived in a range of countries in Northern Africa's Sahelo-Saharan region, their final stronghold was in Chad. There are captive herds currently in Tunisia, Morocco and Senegal as part of the ongoing effort to restore viable stocks to range states.
Deserts and grassy steppes
What they eat
Primarily grazers. They prefer grasses but also eat leaves, fruits and shrubs.