Status Low Risk
Diet Herbivore
To unlock the gemsbok in challenge or campaign games, you must earn a 1-star zoo fame rating for your zoo.


  • Gemsbok is the common name for the largest and best known of the three species of oryx, or straight-horned antelope. Herds of ten or more gemsbok are still seen in southwestern Africa, their sandy-gray flanks nearly invisible against the desert and brushland habitat. Both sexes have sharply pointed horns that extend up to about 1.5 m (about 4.9 ft). The gemsbok stands up to 140 cm (up to 55 in) high at the shoulder and has a horselike posture and gallop. The horns are lowered parallel to the ground and the animals lunge with great accuracy when holding off lions and other predators. They are also swift runners that can outpace a horse or a pack of African hunting dogs. Gemsbok can survive dry seasons by eating melons and plant bulbs. Their long horns and striking facial markings have made them prized hunting trophies.

Fun Facts

  • The female gemsbok's horns are slightly longer and slimmer than the male's.
  • Lone gemsbok bulls have been known to kill attacking lions by impaling them with their strong horns.
  • To help supplement their water intake, gemsboks eat tsama melons and dig up roots and tubers.
  • With their long horns and striking facial markings, gemsboks make highly prized hunting trophies.
  • Due to its lethal horns, the gemsbok is sometimes called the "sabre antelope."

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