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A bongo calf, the offspring of Annakiya, age 7, and Junior, age 5, was born on exhibit at the Franklin Park Zoo in Boston, MA, on June 15, before the Zoo opened to the public. The gender has not yet been determined. Mom Annakiya was also born at the Zoo and the calf can be seen on exhibit with her.

“The baby has been observed nursing and is moving around, which are very positive signs. As with all new births, we will closely monitor the mother and baby,” said John Linehan, Zoo New England President and CEO, adding, “This is not only an exciting birth for the zoo, but it is also a significant one. This calf will join the rest of our animals in delighting visitors and highlighting the importance of protecting natural habitats around the world.”

Bongo CD 4

Bongo CD 2

Bongo CD CU
 Photo Credit: Photo 1 Sarah Woodruff, Photo 2-4 Christina Demetrio

Bongos are the largest, and often considered the most beautiful, forest-dwelling antelope found in the lowland rainforests of equatorial Africa. The animals have dramatic coats with 12 to 14 thin white stripes overlaying shades of bright chestnut. Bongos are fairly nocturnal and their large eyes and big ears enable them to see and hear better in poor light conditions.

Zoo New England participates in the Bongo Species Survival Plan (SSP), which is a cooperative, inter-zoo program coordinated nationally through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). SSPs are designed to maintain genetically diverse and demographically stable captive populations of species. This birth is the result of a recommended breeding between Junior and Annakiya. Franklin Park Zoo has played a key role in growing the North American captive population through successful breeding. As a result of this robust captive breeding program, the Bongo SSP has been conducting a reintroduction program in Kenya.