Baby bongo at London Zoo
Thursday 20 April 2000
Bongo success at London Zoo!
Don’t miss the chance to come and see the stunning baby bongo born just in time for Easter at London Zoo. Very little is known about this beautiful species. Despite being the largest antelope in the rain forests of Africa, their secretive nature, coupled with their endangered status, means they are rarely seen in the wild.
New-born Nurisha (meaning ‘to show light’ in Swahili) is just over three weeks old and will be welcome company to the other youngster Nadia, adult male Ali and mother Natalie. Nurisha weighed just 10kg when born and prompted by her mother, was standing within minutes of birth.
With impressive spiralled horns, a bright chestnut coat and a long tufted tail, bongo are found in herds in the equatorial rainforests of Africa. They move stealthily through the forest laying their long horns on their backs to prevent getting tangled in the foliage.
The adults browse on leaves, flowers, shoots and roots and are also reported to eat charred wood from lightening strikes, most likely to obtain minerals and salt. Nurisha, however, will feed from her mother for the next 6 - 8 months before progressing to an adult diet.
Sadly, the destruction of their habitat has lead to the World Conservation Union (IUCN) listing the species as endangered. London Zoo’s bongo are part of the European co-operative breeding programme (EEP), so keepers are thrilled with this latest addition.
For further details please contact:
The Zoological Society of London Press Office
Peter Beatty - Press Officer
Tel: 020 7449 6361/6363/6236
— ENDS —