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Oryx – a Gorgeous Antelope Who Conquers the Savannah, Tanzania

Swahili Name:   Choroa

Scientific Name: Oryx gazella

Size: 47 inches at the shoulder

Weight: 250 to 390 pounds

Lifespan: 20 years

Habitat: Dry plains

Diet:  Herbivorous/grazer

Gestation: 8 1/2 months

Predators: Lions, hyenas, wild dogs

OF all antelope spices found in the whole of East African national parks and game reserves, the Oryx Beisa or the East African Oryx is the most beautiful dweller who is clearly identified by their 100 cm long and lethal but astonishing horns.  An Oryx with a handsome horse like figure is decorated with a narrow strip of black mane on top of its back which runs from the neck toward the rear side and widens before joining the medium sized tail made up with long black tuft.

The main body of this strikingly beautiful antelope is covered by a very grey coat with a white underside which is separated from the grey by a line of black fur running across the lower belly with part of it stoking the upper parts to the knees of both hind and forelegs for more beautiful outlook.

From the torso in the middle of forelegs through the lower part of the neck, the black stripe goes to the lower part of the head then forms a line which passes through the eyes to cover the base of the horns to central part of the forehead and differentiate it from a white mouth for indisputably very beautiful outlook of the East African Oryx.

The head of the Oryx is equipped with long trumpet like ears which smarten its image and capable of picking sound in a desert type environment where strong winds are capable of sending signals and noise from your enemies far away.

The East African Oryx lives in semi desert areas where they form herds of 4 to 40 animals consisting of female who walk with their calves, semi adult females and subordinate or less important males. To prove their presence in the group the non territorial males work as defenders of the families under guardianship of an Alpha Bull who walk from behind of a caravan which is always led by matured females marching to a food source which may be located in a distance place.

If the matured female who is called Matriarch fails to take the proper direction then the Alpha bull will march to the front position and lead the caravan toward their highly singled out destination, while on the way these bulls do not allow strange male into their group.

This act by non territorial males proves that the role of masculinity in the Savannah of East Africa is not only for sexual desire but for security of the harems which surround them.

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