Eastern Bongo

Scientific Name: Tragelaphus eurycerus isaaci
Irish Name: Bongó
IUCN Status: Critically endangered

The eastern bongo is a subspecies of bongo, a chestnut coloured antelope with white vertical stripes and twisted horns.



Eastern Bongo

The eastern bongo is a subspecies of bongo, a chestnut coloured antelope with white vertical stripes and twisted horns.



General Information

Where do they live?

Eastern bongos are native to Central Kenya where they are only found in four isolated populations in the mountainous forests.

How long do they live?

Bongos can live up to 19 years in the wild.

What do they eat?

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

Group Name


Zoo Location

African Plains

Closest Related Species/Sister Species

Lowland or Western Bongo

Animal Class


Animal Order


Fun Facts


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.

Critically Endangered

There are thought to be only 70-80 individual eastern bongos left in the wild/


Family Life

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

Baby Name


Gestation period

9 months

Number of young at birth


Weight at birth

15 kg

Size male & female adult

Up to 1.4 m shoulder height; 250 - 450 kg



Critically endangered

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.

Current population estimate

70-80 (decreasing)


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 for Eastern bongos.


Eastern Bongo Conservation

See what Dublin Zoo is doing to help eastern bongos in the wild
Find out more


  • 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.