Al-Wusta Wildlife Reserve (WWR) is the first wildlife reserve in Oman. It was established in 1980 for reintroduction and breeding of the Arabian oryx (Oryx leucoryx) and recently other wildlife, which includes the Arabian gazelle (Gazelle gazelle cora) and Sand gazelle (Gazella subgutturosa marica). These antelopes are only kept in a few countries worldwide. Therefore, only limited information is available on their husbandry requirements and diseases occurring in these species. This study aimed to evaluate the causes of mortalities at WWR. During July to October 2019, fifty mortalities were observed at WWR. These mortalities consisted of 10 Arabian oryx and 40 Sand gazelles. All carcasses were subjected to the detailed post-mortem (PM) examination to find out the potential cause of death. Fatal injuries caused by fighting were the major cause of deaths (n=17, 34%) followed by cyclone related deaths (n=10, 20%), pneumonia (n=8, 16%), old age (n=4, 8%), impaction of stomach caused by foreign bodies (n=3, 6%) and bloat (n=2, 4%). The exact cause of death could not be established in 5 (10%) mortalities. Internal organs were screened for the presence of adult worms. However, no parasite was observed in these animals. These findings demonstrated that more than 50% mortalities could be reduced by only controlling aggression-related injuries and taking precautionary measures against natural disasters like a cyclone. On the other hand, the absence of internal worms could be related to good husbandry conditions at WWR.
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