Escaped Oryx in Oregon Becomes Twitter Celebrity, Raises Conservation Awareness [WATCH]
Several people caught Yellow Nose the Oryx, on camera this past Saturday at Forest Park in Portland, Oregon and he became an instant Twitter celebrity. According to the Conservation Centers for Species Survival, Scimitar Oryx have been hunted to the brink of extinction and can no longer be found in the wild. Fortunately for them, they have a lot of personality as Yellow nose has proven, and personality goes a long way in conservation efforts.
Since Saturday, the wayward traveler has experienced a bit of Twitter stardom and has put more of a spotlight on the Oryx plight. Reed Gleason, Yellow Nose's owner, has been posting Oryx videos on the internet for a while now, but this is the first time videos of Yellow Nose have really raked in a Twitter crowd and made the Antelope species a household name.
Yellow Nose escaped from Gleason's farm a few miles down the road from the park sometime on Saturday after a gate on the compound was left open. Much to Yellow Nose's dismay, Gleason came to his "rescue" shortly after hikers discovered him roaming the area. This is apparently not the first time the Oryx has escaped and, by the look of things, it will not be his last. That is if Yellow Nose has anything to say about it.
After attempting to coral Yellow Nose into a friend's trailer all day Saturday, Gleason finally enlisted the help of two hired veterinarians on Sunday. Three tranquilizer darts later, and Yellow Nose is finally back home, safe and sound. According to Gleason, Oregon's favorite escapee is recovering from the tranquilizer's effects.
Since their extinction in the wild many people have been breeding them in captivity, Gleason included. He started out with only two Oryx, a male and a female and 20 years later, he cares a total of 11 Oryx.
Gleason said that, "After 20 years, I'm not so thoroughly charmed. But c'mon, it's an antelope, an African antelope. It wouldn't be alive otherwise."
Scimitar Oryx are the largest mammal in 20 years to go extinct in the wild. At one point Oryx were known to call the whole of North Africa their home. Now, they are solely bred in captivity. Fortunately, Yellow Nose has given the species some much-needed recognition, which could help on-going conservation efforts. Currently, there is a reintroduction program underway in Tunisia for the scimitar-horned Oryx.
Perhaps these noble beasts will once again roam free.