Rare Antelope Calf Born at Taronga Zoo

Bongo Calf (8)Taronga Zoo is celebrating the arrival of an Eastern Bongo calf, one of the rarest antelope species in the world.

Bongo Calf (21)

Bongo Calf (7)

Bongo Calf (12)Photo Credits: Taronga Zoo

Born in the early hours on February 8th, the calf has had time to bond with its mother, off display, before coming out onto exhibit for the first time.

Keepers are yet to determine the sex of the calf, which is the third born to mother, ‘Djembe’, and father, ‘Ekundu’.

“Djembe is a fantastic, protective mother and cleaned the calf as soon as it was born. The calf has already learnt to follow its mother around and was very curious and energetic when exploring its exhibit for the first time,” said Ungulate Keeper, Tracy Roberts.

Tracy said the new calf was an important addition to the Australasian breeding program, helping to save the critically endangered species from extinction.

“Every birth of a healthy calf is important, with fewer than 100 of these gentle animals left in the wild. Sadly Eastern Bongo numbers have collapsed due to poaching, disease and destruction of their native habitat in Kenya’s highlands,” she said.

Taronga is also helping to protect Bongos in the wild through its support of the Bongo Surveillance Project in the highlands of central Kenya. The project monitors herds and individual Bongo movements using visual signs, camera traps and GPS equipment and also combats poaching activities by removing illegal traps and snares.

More amazing pics, below the fold!

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Nyala Calf Gets Her Shots at Zoo Miami

Nyala Baby B“This won’t hurt a bit!”  That's what the veterinarian might have said to Zoo Miami’s week-old Nyala calf on vaccination day.  The female calf, born on February 5, endured her shots and was proclaimed in good health after her neonatal exam.  

Nyala Baby C

Nyala Baby A
Photo Credit:  Zoo Miami

The newborn Nyala weighed about 13 pounds and has a lot of growing to do.  These antelope, which are native to southern Africa, weigh between 120-300 pounds as adults.  Males are larger than females and sport spiral-shaped horns, which are used in ritual fights for dominance during mating season. 

Nyala populations in Africa are relatively stable, though habitat loss and competition with domestic cattle pose some threat.  These antelope prefer woodlands and dense thickets that offer cover from predators like Lions and Leopards.  About 80% of Nyalas live in protected areas and parks, but mature male Nyalas are sought as game trophies.    

This Blue Duiker Baby Has a Red Rudolph Nose!


It's actually just the lighting in the photograph making her nose shine so bright. A tiny female Blue Duiker calf was born Dec. 8 at Fresno Chaffee Zoo. The calf weighs 1lb and stands 5 inches tall at her withers. Duikers are among the smallest of Antelope species and generally weigh only 20 to 26 pounds when fully grown.




Photo credit: Fresno Chaffee Zoo

Duikers are found throughout sub-Saharan Africa in wetlands, rainforests and timber-heavy regions. Although they browse on grass, leaves, shrubs and trees, Duikers are classified as frugivores because the main component of their diet is fruit. They have also been observed eating carrion and insects, which isn't common among most Antelope but provides protein to their diet.

Two Nyala calves at Newquay Zoo for the 2nd year in a row!


Last year staff and visitors at the United Kingdon’s Newquay Zoo celebrated the birth of two Nyala antelope, the first time ever the species was successfully bred at the Zoo. The zoo has done it again, with two more Nyalas born this summer.

Zoo Director Stewart Muir said, ‘‘I am thrilled at the success we are having with this species at Newquay. It is really important that we breed this species in captivity, as they disappeared from much of their range due to habitat destruction through farming and over-grazing by cattle. The species has managed to bounce back thanks to effective protections, re-introduction to certain areas and the contribution of zoos like Newquay to organised breeding programmes.’’

Mother Nyalas typically hide their newborn calves in thickets to protect them from predators, visiting them only to nurse and clean the calves. Although the species is not considered to be endangered, their numbers in the wild are decreasing in their home range of southeastern Africa.



Photo credits:  Newquay Zoo





Meet Blossom the Blesbok Calf, Born at Belfast Zoo


The flowers at Belfast Zoological Gardens are not the only things ‘blossoming’ this spring, as keepers are celebrating the birth of Blossom, the Blesbok calf. Its father, Basel, arrived in Belfast in 2009 from Africa Alive in Suffolk and was soon joined by mother, Daphne. The pair’s relationship has since ‘blossomed’ and they welcomed their first calf on March 5. 

Blesbok are a species of antelope that are indigenous to the open grasslands of South Africa. This species was first discovered by settlers in the 17th century and their numbers were said to be so huge that they filled the horizon. However, blesbok were hunted for their skin and for meat and by the 19th century they were on the verge of extinction. Protective measures have since been put in place and the population has sufficiently increased to the point that the species has been removed from the endangered list.

Zoo Manager, Mark Challis, said, “The zoo team are all delighted to be playing an active role in the conservation of this beautiful species which has been brought back from the brink of extinction by conservation efforts.  We only became home to blesbok in 2009 and this is the first time that a blesbok has been bred in Ireland.  Let’s hope there will be many more in the future! ”

Mom follows

Photo Credcit: Belfast Zoo

World's Tiniest Antelope Born in Tampa

Lowry Park Zoo Royal Antelope 1

The Royal Antelope is the world's smallest species of antelope, standing only 10-12 inches high as adults, and this little fawn is only about half of that height! Born February 23 at Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo, the baby appears healthy and mom has proven attentive.

Shy, nocturnal, typically solitary, and obviously mini, it's tough to catch a glimpse of this reclusive species in the wild. However, if you do stumble upon one in an African forest, their slender but powerful get-away sticks allow them to jump up to 8 feet in a single bound!

Lowry Park Zoo Royal Antelope 2

Lowry Park Zoo Royal Antelope 3Photo credits: Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo

St. Louis Zoo's New Baby Bongo

Bongo CU

The St Louis Zoo has seen a bounty of winter babies in their Hoofed Stock department and this is another addition: a Mountain Bongo. This little male calf named Tundra was one of the last births of 2011, having come into the world on December 27. At his neonatal exam, the calf weighed 52 pounds (23.6 kilos). 

Unlike the more common Bongo, the Mountain Bongo is an endangered subspecies of antelope that lives only in a few pockets of mountain forests in Kenya. This birth is the result of a breeding recommendation by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Bongo Species Survival Plan, a cooperative breeding program which manages Bongo in AZA zoos.

The new calf can be seen with his mother and herd at the Red Rocks area on warmer days.

Bongo pair

Mom 2
Photo Credit: St. Louis Zoo

To learn more about bongos visit their page on the St.Louis Zoo website.

Speaking of Speke's Gazelles...


A new female Speke's gazelle named Iris was born at the Saint Louis Zoo on January 6. This is the second offspring for mother Lily and father Chip. This birth is the result of a breeding recommendation by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Speke's Gazelle Species Survival Plan, a cooperative breeding program which manages Speke's gazelles in AZA zoos.

These small antelope are quite endangered in their arid homeland of Somalia. Their pale fawn color blends well with the sandy terrain there. To avoid predators, newborn calves lie motionless in the sparse vegetation, emerging from hiding long enough to nurse. 

The gazelle family can be seen together outside at Red Rocks on warmer days and inside the Antelope House on colder days. You can see in the video below that Iris has been exploring the habitat and getting used to stretching her legs by dodging adults and generally darting around!

CU Spekes w mom

Photo Credit: St. Louis Zoo


Brody the Baby Bongo, Born at the Houston Zoo


There's a new baby Bongo at the Houston Zoo in Texas, and his name is Brody. Born on December 6, Brody weighed just over 40 pounds (18.3 kg). He’s a big healthy boy with a good appetite as evidenced by his current weight 5 weeks later - 92+ pounds (42 kg). He can be seen every day (weather permitting) on exhibit with his 3 year old mom Penelope. His favorite spot for resting and naps is in the front right hand corner of the exhibit.

To the casual observer, all bongo calves look alike. But the zoo's keepers found a perfect way to tell them apart – they count the white stripes on their side. Bongo can have 10 to 14 white stripes on each side and each side can present a different configuration. For instance, Penelope has 11 stripes on each side. 

A bongo is a type of antelope native to the lowlands and mountain forests of Kenya and western Africa and are among the largest of the African forest antelope. In the wild, bongos are shy and elusive but very social. In fact, they are the only forest antelope to form herds.

The Western or lowland bongo is classified as near threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the IUCN. The Eastern or mountain bongo is classified as endangered. 



Mom and baby


Photo Credit: Stephanie Adams/Houston Zoo

Eastern Bongo Baby Adds to Critically Endangered Species


There's a new Eastern bongo baby at Zoo Atlanta! First-time mother Matilda delivered this newest ambassador for the critically endangered species on December 2. The calf is the first for Matilda and the Father, Tambo. Both parents are 3 years old.

“Naturally, we’re delighted about any birth here at the Zoo, but Matilda’s calf also illustrates the role zoos can play in wildlife conservation,” said Raymond King, President and CEO. “This is a species on the brink of extinction. Sharing the hope and joy of a new baby helps us educate our guests about these majestic animals and the need to preserve them in the wild.”

Known for their deep reddish coats and magnificent curved horns, bongos are the largest of the African antelope species. Largely due to their elusive nature, the animals were the subjects of legends and superstitions prior to their relatively recent discovery by western science in the 20th century.

Believed to number fewer than 500 in the wild in their native Kenya, eastern bongos face extinction as a result of habitat destruction, poaching and hunting for the bushmeat trade. Matilda and Tambo were recommended to breed by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Species Survival Plan, which seeks to maintain a self-sustaining, genetically diverse population within North American Zoos and has reintroduced captive-born bongos to eastern Africa.


Photo Credit: Zoo Atlanta