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PHOENIX -- Once thought to be near extinction, an antelope from the Middle East has resurfaced again at the Phoenix Zoo.

The Arabian Oryx calf, a species of antelope that was declared extinct from its natural habitat in 1972, welcomed its 240th member into the family earlier this week.

According to the Phoenix's Zoo Facebook page, efforts to prevent the extinction of the species have been going on for the last 50 years in the zoo.

The 15 pound female was born on exhibit early Wednesday morning before staff arrived for the day. This marks the 240th Arabian Oryx born at the Phoenix Zoo, as part of a species survival plan that began in the 1960s.

The efforts by the Phoenix Zoo, along with the partnership with organizations like the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature in Jordan have brought back the numbers of the Oryx calf to about 1,200 animals that now live in the wild.

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