The entirety of the Arabian Peninsula is home to a mere 4 indigenous mammals and from these, the Arabian Oryx is one such species that calls for careful consideration whenever touring regions such as Abu Dhabi for that matter. Referred to in Arabic as ‘Al Maha,’ the Oryx is an important part of the Bedouin culture where the animal is associated with beauty. Provided below is an account of the species and how travellers like you can set about discovering one of the most treasured species of antelope the world over.
Read up on the Arabian Oryx
In terms of stature, the Arabian Oryx is the smallest of its kind amongst species of antelope with its white fur appearing in contrast to its darker and brown legs. The mammal has black horns which tend to grow straight and are black in colour as well. Further, the average Oryx ranges from 50 – 60 centimeters in length with the maximum weight documented at 90 kilos. Also, the species lives and moves about in herds with each herd consisting of between 8 -10 of the kind.
Understand the habitat
The Arabian Oryx thrives in the harshest of environments with dunes, open wadis, and plains being at the heart of its very existence. The hooves of the Oryx are broad and thus, provide better access across sandy parts with the species known to cover up to 90 km in a day. The diet of the Oryx comprises various types of grass, shoots of trees, bushes, and tubers. Interestingly enough, the Arabian Oryx can survive for longer periods of time without water with the occasional drops of dew serving as a source of sustenance.
Extinction and beyond
Unfortunately, the Oryx was soon to fall prey to extinction after having roamed the Middle Eastern desserts for many a century. Al Maha has been considered extinct throughout all parts of the Arabian Peninsula come the 1970s but fortune was soon to smile kindly on these species. The last surviving of these animals were captured and incorporated into a ‘world herd’ and thereafter, ways and means were sought in order to reintroduce these species within the Peninsula. As a result, over 1000 of the Arabian Oryx were placed in the wild and in turn, the International Union for Conservation of Nature downgraded the threat category from ‘extinct in the wild’ to that of ‘vulnerable’ in the year 2011. On a similar footing, The Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi which works tirelessly towards safeguarding the natural environment and combatting climate change released its report for 2019 indicating the following: that Abu Dhabi was now home to 5000 species of the Arabian Oryx which was the largest herd of Oryx in the world.
Choose your access route
If you’re intrigued about the story of the Arabian Oryx and yearn to uncover more of this species, then why not consider scheduling your next holiday to Abu Dhabi with your family and friends? Filled with numerous activities, in Abu Dhabi one will be spoilt for choice ahead of having a pleasing and memorable escape and amongst these, do take note of the popular Arabian Wildlife Park. Covering more than half of Sir Bani Yas Island, the Park is where in excess of 17,000 animals reside and one of the best places in the Peninsula to spot the Oryx. For example, consider factoring in the prospect of being accommodated at hotels such as Anantara Sir Bani Yas Island Al Sahel Villa Resort from where a visit to the Arabian Wildlife Park can be easily scheduled and delighted in.