Beisa Oryx (Oryx gazella beisa)
aka Sabre (not Sable) Antelope, East African Oryx, or simply "Beisa" Appearance
Beisa Oryx are very big Antelope, thick-set and with magnificent long, ringed horns. The horns of the bull Beisa Oryx are shorter, but thicker, than those of the cow. They are a light sand colour, with diagnostic black & white marks on their faces and black stripes along the top of their bellies and up their necks. A ring of black around their legs and black tails. Beisa Oryx stand at 4 foot (1.2 metre) to their shoulder and are 78" (2 metres) long. They weigh up to 38 stone (240 kg) and horns have been recorded at 41" (105 cm).
Another race / species is the Oryx gazella callotis, seen in Kenya's Tsavo NP, that has long tufts of black hair on the tips of its ears; aside from which, there is little difference. Resident
Beisa Oryx are seen in Kenya at Laikipia and Samburu & Meru National Parks. I also saw one in at Haller Park, near Mombasa. Longevity
Beisa Oryx gestate for 260 days and drop a single calf, normally at the time of the rains. It joins the herd at approximately 1 month old. In captivity, it would live for 20 years; much less, in the wild. Predators
The main predators of Beisa Oryx are the big cats, Lion
. However, Beisa Oryx are herd animals and, with their long horns, are very able in protecting themselves. Behaviour
Beisa Oryx live in herds of approximately 30 individuals. A single, territorial bull will have a harem of females. Other herds consist of batchelor bulls or 'nursery herds'. A bull will typically be 4 years old when in his prime and hold a territory for up to 3 years. His territory can cover several hundred square kilometers and he marks the boundary by defecation. In wet weather, he may move his boundaries, to higher ground, because their slim hooves sink into soft ground. Diet
Beisa Oryx are mainly grazers, but occasionally will browse, especially in the dry season, particularly from Acacia, when seeds are in pods. They get the majority of their water from the food they eat. Other Beisa Oryx Facts
Male Beisa Oryx rarely fight one-another. Dominant males strut around their females, heads held high and mock charge oponents. Males from batchelor herds walk around their herd and also 'mock charge', rarely clashing horns. If it does happen, they tend to run from the other male straight afterwards. Photographs
Images taken in Kenya's Haller Park, Mombasa.