Bongo

St. Louis Zoo's New Baby Bongo

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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.

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Photo Credit: St. Louis Zoo

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


Brody the Baby Bongo, Born at the Houston Zoo

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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. 

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Photo Credit: Stephanie Adams/Houston Zoo


Eastern Bongo Baby Adds to Critically Endangered Species

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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.

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Photo Credit: Zoo Atlanta

 

Baby Bongo Born at Franklin Park Zoo

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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.”

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

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Bongo Baby Boom at Belfast Zoo

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Belfast Zoo in the UK, has welcomed three new additions to the Eastern bongo herd!  Willa and Fern became mothers to Maggie and Ruby in April, while Kimbiri’s calf was named after the month in which she was born in - May. The resident male, Embu, arrived at Belfast Zoo from Chester Zoo in September 2006 and is father to all three calves! 

Eastern bongos are found in the mountain forests of central Kenya. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) considers the Eastern bongo to be facing a very high risk of extinction; it is estimated that there are as few as 75 to 140 Eastern bongos left in the wild!

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Zoo curator, Andrew Hope, is thrilled with the new arrivals. “The whole zoo team is delighted with the three new Eastern bongo calves and we are especially proud to be playing such an important role in the conservation of such a beautiful and threatened species. We take part in a collaborative breeding program to help protect the Eastern bongo and we have one of the most successful breeding herds in the UK.”

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Photo Credit: Belfast Zoo

Zoo manager, Mark Challis, said, “Experts believe that zoos around the world will play a key role in the survival and future of this important sub-species.  In fact some zoo bred animals are now part of the Bongo Repatriation Program.  In 2004 this pioneering project reintroduced Eastern bongos from American zoos to the Mount Kenya Wildlife Conservancy, where the animals have since formed a core breeding group, producing offspring who will eventually be released into the World Heritage Site at Mount Kenya.  Although our three latest arrivals may not be part of this project at present, it definitely shows the conservational importance of these three calves to the future of the sub-species.”

Visitors can help contribute to the care of these endangered animals by adopting an Eastern bongo at Belfast Zoo. 


Baby Bongo Born at Busch Gardens

Try saying the title of this post five times fast. Alliteration and ZooBorns go together like, well, baby Bongos and Busch Gardens. 

On September 13th, Busch Gardens welcomed a baby Bongo to the fold. Native to the rainforests of Africa, the endangered Eastern Mountain subspecies of Bongo has the most striking coloring of all bongos. Thanks to the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and its member institutions, 18 zoo born Bongos were released back onto Mount Kenya in 2004, helping to repopulate the area. 

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Baby bongo busch gardens 2Photo credits: Matt Marriott / Busch Gardens

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Baby Boom at the Virginia Zoo!

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Zb_new_7 The Zoo’s male eastern bongo fathered a calf, the first of his offspring since he arrived at the Virginia Zoo last year.  The female baby, named Eva, was born the morning of September 23.

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The Zoo also is proud to announce the hatching of two eastern box turtles on September 24.



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The  Zoo’s six-banded armadillos, Bobby and June Bug, are the parents of two male armadillo  pups born on July 24.

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