The Bongo population at the Louisville Zoo nearly doubled recently with the births of three Bongo calves bringing the Zoo’s Bongo population to seven. A male Bongo calf (52 lbs) was born in May to mother, Isabella, and two females calves (37 and 44 lbs respectively) were also born in May, one each to mothers Nailah and Kaya. Bongo Watson fathered all three calves.
All three births were planned and a part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP). These breeding plans work to improve the genetic diversity of managed animal populations. An effort by zoos in North America to reintroduce bongos to the wild population in Kenya is underway.
Bongos are the largest of the forest antelopes, and are considered by many to be the most beautiful. In addition to the deep chestnut color of their coats, bongos have bright white stripes on their sides to help camouflage them from their enemies.
All the calves and moms are doing well and are on exhibit daily weather permitting. Details of a naming contest for these three new calves will be announced at a later date.
Photo Credit: Kyle Shepherd