Franklin Park Zoo welcomes newborn bongo

The Franklin Park Zoo has announced the birth of a new bongo – a species of African forest antelope.Photo Courtesy of Zoo New EnglandPhoto Courtesy of Zoo New England

The Franklin Park Zoo has announced the birth of a new bongo – a species of African forest antelope.

The gender of the calf has not yet been determined and zoo officials say that it seems to be in good condition.

“The baby has been observed nursing and is moving around which are very positive signs. As with all new births, we will closely monitor the mother and baby,” said John Linehan, Zoo New England President and CEO, in a statement.

“This is not only an exciting birth for the zoo, but it is also a significant one. This calf will join the rest of our animals in delighting visitors and highlighting the importance of protecting natural habitats around the world.”

The calf is the offspring of Annakiya, a 7-year-old bongo also born at Franklin Park Zoo, and Junior, a 5-year-old.

Bongos are the largest forest-dwelling antelope in the lowland rainforests of equatorial Africa. The animals have chestnut coats with 12 to 14 white stripes overlaying. They are known to be nocturnal and have large eyes, enabling them to see and hear better in poor light conditions.

This latest birth is the result of a breeding recommended by the Bongo Species Survival Plan (SSP) – a program to which Franklin Park Zoo contributes. The Bongo SSP is currently conducting a program to reintroduce the bongo to Kenya.