Adult Oryx (Oryx gazella) have long saber-like horns. But not this guy. An Oryx without horns should be defenseless, unprotected and doomed on the plains of Africa. But not this guy.
It’s not unusual to see oryx with horns broken, bent or missing from clashes with predators or other oryx. But this guy was different. Looking through binoculars we could see that the top of his head was smooth and unscarred, indicating he never grew horns. That was rare enough but what truly surprised our guide was that this guy not only survived to adulthood but stood today alongside fellow bachelor Oryx as a strong and healthy bull. But his biggest most difficult challenge still remains… without horns he probably will not be able to attract and keep females. But the mere fact he was thriving on the Kalahari Plains defies the odds, so I wouldn’t bet against him either.
Deception Valley, Central Kalahari Game Reserve, Botswana
Canon EOS 7D with Canon EF100-400 f/4.5-5.6L IS USM lens
Handheld at Focal length 400mm, Exposure 1/6400 sec at f/6.3, ISO 1000
A fellow bachelor Oryx, with proper horns…