EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) -- According to Ray Spears, Captain Game Warden with Texas Parks & Wildlife, the department has seen an increase in calls of Oryxes on the roadways.
On Tuesday, ABC-7 captured images of a decapitated Oryx dead on the side of the road.
Spears told ABC-7 they are getting a handful of calls each month of Oryx sightings mainly in northeast El Paso and near the Montana Vista area. That is an increase from previous months.
He said a majority of them are seen on Highway 54 between El Paso and Alamogordo.
The Oryxes live in and near White Sands, but as the populations grows, some are starting to migrate south.
"Every year the population had grown and grown. Now we're starting to see them on the outskirts of El Paso." he said. "They're not being hunted a whole lot. So the populations are there and they don't have any natural predators."
According to the National Park Service, dozens of Oryx were brought to White Sands in the 1970s from Africa. Today, thousands are estimated to live in the area.
"They're very large animals. If somebody is going down Highway 54 and they're going 60, 70 miles an hour and one is in their lane and they cannot avoid it, it would be like hitting something the size of a cow" said Spears.
Spears reminds drivers to slow down and pay attention to surroundings. If you see an Oryx, he urges drivers to call the department.
According to the El Paso Police Department, on Tuesday at 4:27 a.m., officers were dispatched to a traffic hazard involving a dead animal in the roadway.
Witnesses captured an image of the deceased Oryx at around 11 a.m., but told ABC-7 they discovered its head had been removed, something Spears said, is illegal but not uncommon.
"If you're caught illegally taking an Oryx, it is an exotic in the state of Texas, but it is still something that you have to have a hunting license to take and you have to have landowner permission to take," he said. "So if you illegally take one, it could be a jailable offense. It could be a Class A misdemeanor to take one without the proper license."