Minnesota Zoo Welcomes First Ever Bongo Calves to Africa Herd
Apple Valley, MINN – June 25, 2013 – The Minnesota Zoo is excited to announce the birth of two healthy bongo calves that are beginning to make their public debut in the Zoo’s summer Africa! exhibit.
The male calf, born June 6, was later joined by a female calf, born June 16. Both calves, which stood within minutes of birth, are doing well and currently weigh approximately 40 and 30 pounds respectively. Bongo females are noted for being exceptional mothers; they keep their young hidden in tall grasses while allowing them to have “babysitters” while they forage. They also teach their young to swim by having their calves follow other bongos into the water.
Bongos (Tragelaphus eurycerus) are the largest and heaviest forest antelopes. Found in rain forests with dense undergrowth across tropical Africa, they are specifically found in the lowland rain forest of West Africa and the Congo Basin to the Central African Republic and Southern Sudan. They have auburn or chestnut coats with 10 to 15 vertical white stripes running down their sides. Males and females are both colorful, but males are usually darker. Distinctive coloration on their ears may help bongos identify one another in dark forest habitats. Like other antelopes, bongos are herbivorous browsers that feed on leaves, bushes, vines, bark, grasses, roots, cereals, shrubs, and fruit.
The Minnesota Zoo’s summer Africa! exhibit also includes giraffes, ostriches, wildebeest, addax and guinea fowl. Africa is open through September 2.
The Minnesota Zoo is located in Apple Valley, just minutes south of Mall of America. For
more information, call 952.431.9500 or visit mnzoo.org. The Minnesota Zoo is an
accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and an
institutional member of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA).