This adorable newborn is a great sign of hope for this critically endangered species.
When a young animal is born at a zoo, it is always a wonderful day, especially if it belongs to an endangered species. A vital step in ensuring the species’ continued existence is every new birth.
One zoo is now celebrating the birth of a cute Eastern Bongo, a species that is highly endangered. According to a recent press release from Potter Park Zoo in Lansing, Michigan, a female eastern bongo was born there on March 5 to a mother called Uzuri. The young calf is the second eastern bongo born at the zoo since 2014 and the fifth overall.
Sub-Saharan Africa is the home of the eastern bongo antelope species. They are the third-largest antelope in the world and are identified by their long, spiraling horns and white-yellow stripes.
According to the IUCN, the species is severely endangered and is being threatened in the wild by logging and poaching. Eastern bongos are becoming more scarce in the wild than they are in zoos.
The birth is considered good news for this extremely fragile species by the zoo because of their scarcity. According to a news statement from Potter Park Zoo’s Director of Animal Health Dr. Ronan Eustace, “Bongo are extremely endangered, therefore each birth is remarkable. “The calf appears healthy, and the mother has successfully raised calves in the past.”
AZA-accredited zoos in the US now house roughly 300 eastern bongos, and Potter Park Zoo claims that breeding initiatives like theirs “play an essential role in preventing their extinction.”
Eastern bongos are a rare and lovely species. In contrast to other antelope species, female and male eastern bongos both develop their distinctive horns. They are said to have excellent hearing, according to the zoo.
For the zoo, who just this week lost Bella, one of their oldest eastern bongos, the latest arrival is probably a melancholy occasion. According to a Facebook post, Bella was 14 and a half years old when she passed away, which is far older than the average lifespan of a bongo kept in human care.
Animal care experts report that the newborn calf is healthy and gaining weight as she spends time indoors with her mother and forms a strong attachment with her. Visitors to the zoo will soon be able to glimpse the infant even though she is now hidden away.
The happy news of her birth, they say, will “inspire more people to act in protecting and conserving endangered species like the eastern bongo.”
What a sweet little baby eastern bongo, and what a heartwarming sign of hope for this severely threatened species!