Saturday, July 12, 2014

Beisa Oryx

The beisa oryx is a beautiful, distinctive antelope found from Ethiopia to the Tana River in eastern Kenya. 
A herd of beisa oryx in Buffalo Springs NR. Photo by Michael Lewin.
It has a pair of long, straight, ringed horns and long pointed ears, is grayish/tan, has a black and white facial pattern, a black stripe on the flank, on the spine, from the chin to the chest and where the head and neck meet, a black garter on the foreleg and a long black tail. The underparts and portions of the fore-legs are white and it has a a small, erect, chestnut-colored mane. 
The black and white face, long horns and black flank stripe are particularly distinctive. Photo by Mark Edwards.
The black garters and black stripes on the spine are visible on some of the oryx in this picture. Photo by Mark Edwards. 
Males and females look similar, but males are heavier and have a thicker neck and horns. We only saw them in Buffalo Springs NR, the first significant animal we saw there on our first game drive. They were high on my list of animals I wanted to see and our spotting them and driving up near them was one of the thrills of the trip for me.   
A young oryx is more brown and the black facial markings are just starting to develop. The horns are quite short.  Photo by Mark Edwards.
This oryx is a little older. It is still quite brown, but the horns are longer and the black stripe has extended further down the face. The black garters have also appeared.  Photo by Mark Edwards. 
An older oryx. The color is lightening from brown to tan/gray, the patches on the snout and on the forehead have turned from brown to black, and the black stripe on the flank has appeared.  The horns are getting longer. Photo by John Mirau.
From the side, the two horns merge into one horn and it looks like a unicorn. The black stripe of the intersection of head and neck is also visible.  Photo by Michael Lewin.
Rings on horns visible and good look at eye in black eye stripe. Photo by Mark Edwards.
One of my favorite combinations of animals. A reticulated giraffe rambling through a herd of oryx. Photo by Steven Shuel.
Photo by Michael Lewin. 


  1. He has his war paint on and carries a pair of fearsome spears on his head--a true warrior.