These handsome herbivores with decorative black markings, said to be the basis for mythological unicorns, were endowed by nature to survive dauntingly hot, dry habitat. Their snowy fur reflects heat (and light) efficiently—a built-in cooling mechanism. In ways not yet understood, they are able to detect rainfall long distances away and move to intercept new, lush growth for grazing. Their movements may span hundreds of miles—one tracked individual traveled 46 miles (74 km) in 12 hours. So effectively do their bodies retain moisture from food and fog-generated dew that they can go without drinking for almost two years.
But these superbly adapted creatures fell easy victim to automatic rifles and fast motor vehicles introduced to the Arabian Peninsula during World War II. Fortunately the Sultan of Oman decided an effort should be made to reintroduce them and with help from a consortium of international wildlife organizations, a herd was reassembled from private collections and the Phoenix, Arizona, Zoo. Now several hundred survive in the ARABIAN ORYX SANCTUARY, their numbers gradually increasing.
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ARABIAN ORYX SANCTUARY as well as...
Ra’s al Hadd Turtle Preserve
More about the Reserves in Oman
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