Rare Antelope Released Into Addo
Five pairs of oribi were released into the 1,000ha Langvlakte Contractual Property of the Addo Elephant National Park on July 6, 2006. Although this is the first time that the small antelope has been introduced into Addo, historical records show that oribi would have occurred on grasslands in the area. Oribi only occur in areas where there is both short and long grass in the same year, usually on flat to gently undulating terrain. They are listed asendangered by the IUCN Red Data List.
The oribi came from a private farm near Port Alfred owned by Walter Curry, and were released into Addo near the Intsomi Lodge which is located in the contractual land included in the park. A 2005 census of oribi in South Africa was conducted by the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) Oribi Working Group.
This census showed in the region of 2,500 animals, mostly on private land in KwaZulu-Natal. The EWT says, "The oribi is facing a precarious future due to the rapid degradation and loss of its grassland habitat, snaring, illegal hunting with dogs and unlawful sport hunting." The introduction of 10 oribi marks a significant conservation effort, as many landowners have less than five animals on their land.