POSTED: Thursday, December 5, 2013 - 4:15pm
UPDATED: Thursday, December 5, 2013 - 4:24pm
BATON ROUGE, LA (NBC33) — BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo has announced the arrival of a new female bongo calf.
Born at the Zoo during the early morning hours of Friday, November 29, 2013, the calf, mother and father are now on exhibit and doing well. The calf represents the third bongo born at the Baton Rouge Zoo.
The calf’s mother was just brought to the Baton Rouge Zoo in spring 2012 as part of an Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan breeding recommendation. The SSP is a program through the AZA that the Baton Rouge Zoo participates in, as well as all accredited zoos across the country.
The goal of the SSP is to maintain a healthy population among endangered animals that is both genetically diverse and demographically stable.
Native to the lowland forests of Africa, the bongo is threatened by both hunting and habitat loss. The bongo population in the wild has recently declined enough for it to be listed as a Near Threatened species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) Red List. Although bongos still have a relatively wide distribution in Central Africa, populations are becoming more and more isolated.
The bongo is a large and heavy-bodied antelope with a short and glossy chestnut colored coat, patterned with 10 to 15 vertical white stripes. Another notable feature of the bongo are its large horns that can grow to be up to 40 inches long. Bongo calves grow relatively fast and their horns can begin to show by the time they are three to four months old.
View more pictures in our Baby Bongo Photo Gallery .