Two extremely rare Scimitar Horned Oryx were born at Chessington World of Adventures (CWOA) recently, the theme park have said.

Both calves were born in December, CWOA said, to different mothers.

While the second of the two calves was born healthily, the first to arrive led to complications for mother Nakita, who sadly died despite the efforts of the zoo staff at Chessington.

Surrey Comet: Image via CWOAImage via CWOA

As such the newborn was reared by hand and has since been introduced to her new neighbour calf and mum Faye, and the three have since hit it off.

"The success story here is that we've managed to integrate the orphaned young with the mother of the successful birth," Sam Whitbread, the assistant manager of the zoo at CWOA, said.

"We last had young Oryx here back in 2015 and to have two female calves here is really positive for us."

Oryx are a type of antelope and live on the scrub and grasslands of sub-Saharan Africa.

Scimitar Horned Oryx are extremely rare, and were declared "extinct in the wild" back in 2000.

Surrey Comet: Image via CWOAImage via CWOA

Though tentative reintroduction efforts, mostly on reservations, have since been made in countries like Mali and Chad, the species remains extremely threatened.

As Whitbread pointed out that, one of the main ways zoos can help in this regard is to nurture a back up population of endangered animals like these Oryx to ensure the long term survival of the species.

That seems to be a little more likely thanks to the efforts of the mother and her support team at CWOA Zoo.

"The babies are doing really well. The orphaned baby we hand-reared since Day One and it's doing really well, and lives with the other two like a happy family on a daily basis," Whitbread added.

"We still supplement the feed for the orphaned calf, but the mother and two calves have been together about a month now and are getting on really well.

"The two babies snuggle up together and the mother nurses them," Whitbread said.

CWOA are also offering members of the public the chance to name the duo from the joint pairs listed below:

  • Zaina (meaning lovely/pretty) and Zaida (meaning prosperous)
  • Neisha (meaning full of life) and Nura (meaning filled with light) 
  • Malika (meaning a female ruler/Queen) and Takisha (meaning healthy and alive)

Go to the CWOA website for more information.