The Smithsonian's National Zoo welcomed the births of three different hoofed species in the span of one week. A male scimitar-horned oryx, a female Przewalski's horse and a female onager were born Aug. 4, 9 and 11, respectively, at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Va. The three newborns and their mothers are doing very well, according to keepers. This is the first oryx born at SCBI this year, the first Przewalski's horse born since July 2010, and the first onager born at SCBI since last September.
Each birth is significant for each of the species. The International Union for Conversation of Nature lists the scimitar-horned oryx as extinct in the wild, and the Przewalski's horse and onager as endangered. All three animals will likely participate in breeding programs.
The Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute plays a key role in the Smithsonian's global efforts to understand and conserve species and train future generations of conservationists. Headquartered in Front Royal, Va., SCBI facilitates and promotes research programs based at Front Royal, the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., and at field research stations and training sites worldwide.