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Wildlife

Arabian Oryx

With long spear-like horns, sharp and contrasting markings laid, the Arabian Oryx, is one of four species of antelope that lives in harsh desert environment and is native to the Arabian Peninsula. The national animal of Qatar, Oryx.

An Arabian oryx is easily identified by its bright white coat (sparse fur) which reflects the sun's rays, broad hooves, allowing it to walk with relative ease in the sand along with the long, distinct, slightly curved horns employed by both male and female species. The oryx is known to be an animal of tremendous stamina that covers long distances by foot in the desert, at times clocking more than 70km during the night. 

The Arabian oryx has been considered an animal of beauty by the people of the Arabian Peninsula for centuries. With its oversized horns and elegant body, the antelope holds huge cultural significance in the Gulf. Being the largest antelope in the area it has a remarkable tenacity to survive in one of the most inhospitable natural environments in the world.

Arabian Oryx

Fortunately, the immense conservation measures taken by Qatar through what was known as Operation Oryx paved its way to breed a small plethora of these animals in captivity and was then kept in private collections until they were finally reintroduced into the wilderness in 1982. There are now close to 1000 species of the oryx that roam wild throughout the entire Arabian Peninsula, such as the Arabian oryx, the East African oryx and the Gemsbok to name a few.

The Al-Maha sanctuary also called the Arabian Oryx Sanctuary is where the breeding of oryxes in Qatar takes place and a tour of this sanctuary will help visitors understand and appreciate these elegant oryxes. 

Animal Facts

  • Class

    Mammals

  • Habitat

    Desert/scrubland

  • Diet

    Herbivore

  • Group size

    10 or fewer

Where to find them?

Useful information

Address

Ash-Shahaniyah 91042, Qatar

Website

The Arabian oryxes are keen-sighted and alert antelopes that defend themselves by lowering their heads pointing forward their sharp horns. 

Gallery

  • Arabian Oryx
  • Arabian Oryx

We're in love with the Arabian oryxes! 

Arabian Oryx
Clifton Kennedy Visitor

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