This is the third death of the same species animals within 10 days.
The species is listed endangered by the IUCN Red List. Native to the desert areas of the Arabian peninsula, oryx leucoryx (Arabian oyrx) were largely extinct in the wild by the 1970s, mostly killed by hunters. Various programmes for breeding in captivity were subsequently introduced and the species was reintroduced in the wild. Prized for its beauty and grace, the vegetarian animal may survive up to 20 years in good conditions. Females give birth to a calf a year.
The female oryx was treated for a foot injury at the zoo hospital for a week. No relevant zoo official was available on the telephone for comments on the series of deaths.
According to zoo sources, the female was bought with a male oryx from a private farm in 2007. The female was pregnant at that time and gave birth to a calf the same year. Two more calves, however, were born in the following years. Of them, a male and a female aged around one year, died over a year ago when they ran in panic into the fence and suffered fatal injuries.
Her last calf that had grown mature gave birth to a baby over a week ago. Unfortunately, both the mother and the baby could not survive and were found dead in the morning within a space of three days.
According to sources, the mother had developed some infection while delivering the calf that also grew weak after its mother's death and a lack of necessary care.
Zoo experts have termed the deaths of adult oryxes a great loss and said that these deaths reflected the many problems the Karachi zoo has been plagued with for a long time. “It's time the government looked into the zoo affairs and brought about drastic reforms. Otherwise, it would be better that the facility housing animals is closed down for good,” one of them said.
The major issues the zoo faces include an acute shortage of trained staff and lack of funds.