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Operation Oryx: The Three Stages of Captive Breeding

  • Ian. R. Grimwood
Extract

In 1961 the Arabian oryx was in such danger that the only hope for its survival seemed to lie in capturing sufficient animals to start a breeding herd in captivity from which eventually some could be returned to the wild. The Fauna Preservation Society, aided by the World Wildlife Fund, organised Operation Oryx, and under the leadership of Major Grimwood, then Chief Game Warden in Kenya, three animals were captured. These, together with some from the very few in captivity, were sent to Phoenix Zoo in Arizona for stage two of the operation, the breeding of a stock, which is now going on successfully. Stage three, the return to the wild, still lies ahead. Describing the capture expedition, Major Grimwood emphasises the immense interest it aroused, which brought help from six governments, five zoos, scores of societies and clubs, hundreds of individuals, and several oil and other companies, including an electricity company in Kenya which emptied its showroom of ovens in order to heat the oryx's quarantine quarters to save them from the cold.

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* A second female calf was born on January 11th, 1967.

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Oryx
  • ISSN: 0030-6053
  • EISSN: 1365-3008
  • URL: /core/journals/oryx
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