Eastern bongo

Species Name: Eastern bongo
Scientific Name: Tragelaphus eurycerus isaaci
Irish Name: Bongó

The eastern bongo is a subspecies of bongo, a chestnut coloured antelope with white vertical stripes and twisted horns. Eastern bongos are native to Central Kenya where they are only found in four isolated populations in the mountainous forests.

Eastern bongos are classified as ‘critically endangered’ by the International Union of Conservation in Nature (IUCN) due to habitat loss, hunting, increased predator populations in Kenya (lions) and diseases transferred from domestic animals.

 

Eastern bongo

The eastern bongo is a subspecies of bongo, a chestnut coloured antelope with white vertical stripes and twisted horns. Eastern bongos are native to Central Kenya where they are only found in four isolated populations in the mountainous forests.

Eastern bongos are classified as ‘critically endangered’ by the International Union of Conservation in Nature (IUCN) due to habitat loss, hunting, increased predator populations in Kenya (lions) and diseases transferred from domestic animals.

 

General Information

Dublin Zoo provides funding for the Bongo Surveillance Project in central Kenya, which monitors the Bongo population, promotes habitat preservation in cooperation with the local communities and runs wildlife clubs. Dublin Zoo also participates in the European Endangered Species Breeding Programme for Eastern Bongos.

Physical description

Bright chestnut coloured with white vertical stripes; both males and females have lyre-shaped horns.

Where do they live? (Natural habitat)

There are only four isolated populations who live in mountainous forests in central Kenya.

What do they eat?

Bongos are browsing on forest vegetation, and they also peel bark off trees.

Group Name

Herd

Zoo location

African Plains

Closest Related Species/Sister Species

Lowland or Western Bongo

Animal Class

Mammalia

Animal Order

Cetartiodactyla

Fun Facts

Weight

The bongo is the largest and heaviest forest antelope.

Bald Patches

Bongos raise their chins when running through dense forest to keep their horns out of the way, and the horns can cause bald patches on their backs.

Happy Families

Usually only the dominant male and female in a pack are breeding, but the whole pack cares for the pups.

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Family Life

Bongos are very shy and elusive, and are generally solitary animals, although females can sometimes be found in small groups.

Baby Name

Calf

Gestation period

9 months

Weight at birth

1

Weight at birth

15 kg

Size male & female adult

up to 1.4 m shoulder height; 250 - 450 kg

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Conservation

IUCN status

Critically endangered.

Current population estimate

70-80 (decreasing)

Threats

Habitat loss through illegal logging, increased hunting, increase in predator population (lions), diseases transferred from domestic animals.

What is Dublin Zoo doing?

Dublin Zoo provided funding for the Bongo Surveillance Project in central Kenya, which monitors the Bongo population, promotes habitat preservation in cooperation with the local communities and runs wildlife clubs. Dublin Zoo also participates in the European Endangered Species Breeding Programme (EEP) for Eastern Bongos.

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FAQs

  • What kind of animal is a Bongo?

    A bongo is a type of antelope.

  • Does a Bongo have hooves?

    A bongo is an ungulate, which means that they have hooves. They are even-toed, i.e. they have two toes/hooves.

  • How many Bongos are left in the world?

    There are only an estimated 70-80 Eastern Bongos left in the wild.

  • Why are Bongos endangered?

    Expanding agriculture is reducing their habitat and is also bringing them increasingly in contact with domestic animals, from whom they contract diseases. They are also hunted for their meat and their horns.

  • Why do Bongos have stripes?

    The striped coat helps to camouflage them in the dappled forest light, and it may also help to identify each other in the dark forest light.

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