Oryx attack New Mexico
Oryx attack New Mexico

The African oryx may not be native to New Mexico but they have been running wild since 1969 when they were introduced to White Sands Missile Range to entice big game hunters and boost the state’s income from hunting licenses.

Both male and female horns that are several feet long that are used for protection from predators or in this case, foolhardy tourists that got way too complacent around the non-native antelope. Looks like this fella was okay but imagine if one of those horns made a direct hit to the abdomen. Yikes.

“Tourons in New Mexico right outside of Las Cruces getting attacked by an Oryx.”

The South African oryx, or Gemsbok, is a large desert native to Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa. In 1969, it was introduced to White Sands Missile Range in the Tularosa Basin to attract big game hunters and boost state income from hunting licenses. The oryx population quickly grew to about 3,000 and expanded into the San Andres National Wildlife Refuge and nearby areas. By 1997, at least 50 oryx lived in the refuge, competing for scarce resources with bighorn sheep and mule deer. Oryx thrive with little or no water, obtaining moisture from the plants they eat. Aside from calves, they are too large to be preyed upon by mountain lions and other local predators.

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