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The Gemsbok or South African Oryx (Oryx gazella) is a large African ungulate featured in the Standard Edition of Planet Zoo.

Zoopedia Description[]

General[]

Population in the Wild: 373,000

The gemsbok (or Oryx gazella) is a species of antelope that lives in the Kalahari and Namib deserts of Southern Africa. They are characterized by several visual features: long, slim and spiral horns; a black face with white markings over the eyes and muzzle; a grey-brown coat with black markings on the upper legs and back; as well as white 'socks'. On average, Gemsbok stand between 3.6ft and 4.3ft tall at the shoulder, measure 6.3ft to 7.9ft long and have an average horn length of 34in. The males are also slightly larger and significantly heavier than the females.

Despite not being an endangered species - in fact, their numbers are believed to be increasing - Gemsbok are negatively impacted by the expansion of the human population in South Africa. This manifests in a couple of ways, including the destruction of their habitat to make space for farmland, as well as an excess of hunting for their horns, which are popular among trophy hunters. The animals are protected in areas where their habitat falls into national parks and nature reserves, but there is little specific legislation to protect the species as they are not currently endangered.

Social[]

A herd of Gemsbok numbers between 10 and 30. The females group together in interrelated herds with their young offspring, usually consisting of one dominant territorial male who joins the females for mating purposes. Young males form together into single gender bachelor herds until they are old enough to maintain their own territory and acquire a herd of females.

Reproduction[]

Mature male gemsbok are categorized as 5-years-old or more and maintain a large territory, wherein they will gather 'harems' from the female groups that forage through it. He will join these groups, defending them from rival males and mating with receptive females. A gemsbok pregnancy lasts 8.5 months, after which a mother will give birth to one calf in solitude, away from the herd, the newborn will remain hidden in the bushland for the first 6 weeks. The calf will then rejoin the herd and begin to eat solid food, before weaning at 3.5-months-old and becoming independent around a month later. The calves reach sexual maturity at 2-years-old; the males leaving their natal herd to join an all-male bachelor group until they are old enough to maintain their own territory, while the females remain with their mother.

Animal Care[]

PREFERRED OBJECTS

Hay · Herbivore Pellets · Melons and Cucumbers

FEEDING STATIONS
Food Trough · Water Trough · Water Pipe

FOOD ENRICHMENT
Grazing Ball Feeder · Hanging Grazer Feeder · Small Barrel Feeder

HABITAT ENRICHMENT
Grab Ball · Herb Scent Marker · Rubbing Pillar · Scots Pine/Tamarind Scratching Tree

COMPATIBLE ANIMALS

Gemsbok doesn't benefit from sharing space with other species.

Trivia[]

Zoopedia Fun Facts[]

  • Gemsbok can increase their body temperature to up to 45°C to cope with high environmental temperatures, and prevent water loss through sweating and panting.
  • Gemsbok have a low metabolic rate so they do not have to drink often. They can go through most of the year without drinking and by retaining water from their diet.
  • Female gemsbok have longer horns than male gemsbok.
  • There is often only a very short amount of time - a matter of weeks - between a female gemsbok giving birth and getting pregnant again.
  • Gemsbok horns were sold as unicorn horns in medieval England.

Gallery[]

Image Gallery[]

References[]

ANIMAL NAVIGATION
STANDARD: HABITAT
AardvarkAfrican BuffaloAfrican Savannah ElephantAfrican Wild DogAldabra Giant TortoiseAmerican BisonBactrian CamelBaird's TapirBengal TigerBlack WildebeestBongoBonoboBornean OrangutanCheetahChinese PangolinCommon OstrichCommon WarthogFormosan Black BearGalapagos Giant TortoiseGemsbokGharialGiant PandaGreater FlamingoGrizzly BearHimalayan Brown BearHippopotamusIndian ElephantIndian PeafowlIndian RhinocerosJapanese MacaqueMandrillNile MonitorNyalaOkapiPlains ZebraPronghorn AntelopeRed PandaRed Ruffed LemurReticulated GiraffeRing Tailed LemurSable AntelopeSaltwater CrocodileSiberian TigerSnow LeopardSpotted HyenaSpringbokTimber WolfWest African LionWestern ChimpanzeeWestern Lowland Gorilla
ANNIVERSARY UPDATES
Black-and-White Ruffed LemurCollared PeccaryRed Deer
STANDARD: EXHIBIT
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DELUXE EDITION
Komodo DragonPygmy HippoThomson's Gazelle
ARCTIC PACK
Arctic WolfDall SheepPolar BearReindeer
SOUTH AMERICA PACK
Colombian White-Faced Capuchin MonkeyGiant AnteaterJaguarLlamaRed-Eyed Tree Frog
AUSTRALIA PACK
DingoKoalaRed KangarooSouthern CassowaryEastern Blue Tongued Lizard
AQUATIC PACK
Cuvier's Dwarf CaimanGiant OtterGrey SealKing PenguinDiamondback Terrapin
SOUTHEAST ASIA ANIMAL PACK
BinturongClouded LeopardDholeMalayan TapirNorth Sulawesi BabirusaProboscis MonkeySun BearGiant Malaysian Leaf Insect
AFRICA PACK
African PenguinFennec FoxMeerkatSouthern White RhinocerosSacred Scarab Beetle
NORTH AMERICA ANIMAL PACK
American AlligatorArctic FoxBlack-Tailed Prairie DogCalifornia Sea LionCougarMooseNorth American BeaverAmerican Bullfrog
EUROPE PACK
Alpine IbexEurasian LynxEuropean BadgerEuropean Fallow DeerFire Salamander
WETLANDS ANIMAL PACK
Asian Small-Clawed OtterCapybaraNile LechwePlatypusRed-Crowned CraneSpectacled CaimanWild Water BuffaloDanube Crested Newt
CONSERVATION PACK
Amur LeopardAxolotlPrzewalski's HorseScimitar-Horned OryxSiamang
TWILIGHT PACK
Common WombatEgyptian Fruit BatRaccoonRed FoxStriped Skunk
GRASSLANDS ANIMAL PACK
Blue WildebeestCaracalCloudless SulphurEmuEuropean PeacockManed WolfMenelaus Blue MorphoMonarchNine-Banded ArmadilloOld World SwallowtailRed-Necked WallabyStriped Hyena
TROPICAL PACK
Asian Water MonitorBrown-throated SlothFossaLar GibbonRed River Hog
ARID ANIMAL PACK
AddaxAfrican Crested PorcupineBlack RhinocerosDama GazelleDesert Horned ViperDromedary CamelSand CatSomali Wild Ass
OCEANIA PACK
Little PenguinNorth Island Brown KiwiQuokkaSpectacled Flying FoxTasmanian Devil
EURASIA ANIMAL PACK
Hermann's TortoiseMute SwanSaigaSloth BearTakinWild BoarWisentWolverine
BARNYARD ANIMAL PACK
AlpacaAlpine GoatAmerican Standard DonkeyHighland CattleHill Radnor SheepSussex ChickenTamworth Pig
For the main article, see here.
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