From a certain angle, the gently curving horns of a scimitar-horned oryx can look like a single spike. Scholars believe this antelope, or its closely related cousin, the Arabian oryx, may have been the source of the unicorn myth. But as with the fabled beasts, you’d have a hard time finding them: They’re classified as extinct in the wild.

Yet here I am, riding on an ATV in the Texas Hill Country, watching a herd of about 30 oryxes kicking up the scent of blooming lavender as they gallop across the rocky terrain.

The ATV driver, Brian Gilroy, marvels at them. “There are more here than exist in the wild,” he says. Gilroy runs a company called Wildlife Partners, to which this 1,750-acre property and these animals belong.

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