Honolulu Zoo visitors can now view a one-month-old baby bongo antelope on display with her parents.
The zoo welcomed the calf on the afternoon of Feb. 19. Zoo staff worked for several weeks to prepare her for a larger public exhibit.
“It’s a little bigger, a little rockier, so we really wanted to make sure she got her legs under her before we introduced her back into the main exhibit,” said Rhonda Alexander, zookeeper No. 1.
This is the first baby bongo to mother Topanga and father Cory, both five years old.
“We’re really excited about this baby bongo,” Alexander said. “We just got these guys back in 2014 and they were the first time we ever had bongos here. This is our first baby.”
Zoo staff are still deciding on what to name the calf.
Bongos are listed as “near threatened” species found in the lowland rainforests across tropical Africa.
“Every new birth at the Honolulu Zoo is exciting, and the fact that eastern lowland bongos are considered to be near threatened makes this new calf even more special,” said Linda Santos, zoo director, in an email.
Bongos are the most colorful, heaviest and largest antelope among the African forest antelope. Bongos are distinctive with their auburn or chestnut coat featuring 10 to 15 vertical white and yellow stripes running down their sides.
Natural predators such as leopards, lions, hyenas and pythons have taken a toll on the bongo population, which is estimated at 28,000 bongos in the world.
Bongos are herbivores and nocturnal creatures. They live up to 21 years in captivity, according to the African Wildlife Foundation.