Oryx are back in the wild! The Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi, the government of Chad and the Sahara Conservation Fund released the first scimitar-horned oryx back to their native grasslands Sunday, Aug. 14 in Chad where they had been extinct for more than 30 years. One oryx ventured out of the pen alone on Sunday night, and in the early hours Monday, Aug. 15, the main group of 19 individuals left the enclosure. Staff on the ground tracked them using the last known position and very-high frequency (VHF) signals from GPS collars fitted on each animal. Animals were located about 8 km from base camp. One male has returned to the enclosure where a single female remains, appearing not ready to venture out. Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute scientists are monitoring the herd remotely from their laboratory in Front Royal, Va. Read more about this global reintroduction effort.
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