Keepers at Marwell Zoo are celebrating the arrival of a critically endangered mountain bongo, which is a species of African antelope.
The female calf was born to first-time parents Kailina and Ituri on the 29th September and has been named Ada, which means firstborn daughter. The youngster, who looks stunning in her bright chestnut coat with long tufted mane and huge oversized ears, is thriving at the Hampshire wildlife park under the watchful eye of mum, Kailina.
Marwell’s Conservation Biologist, Dr Tania Gilbert, says; “The last time we celebrated the birth of a mountain bongo here was over ten years ago, so this is really special, not just for us as a zoo, but for the conservation of the species as a whole.
“The mountain bongo is on the brink of extinction, with fewer than 100 in the wild. That’s far fewer than the Sumatran Orangutan, so this species really is incredibly rare.”
Mountain bongos are currently only found in four separate populations in highland forests in Kenya, although their numbers are severely threatened by hunting, loss of habitat and diseases transmitted from domestic cattle.
Other successful births at Marwell Zoo this year have included an endangered okapi, an endangered Przewalski’s horse, two scimitar-horned oryx, which are extinct in the wild, two lesser kudu, three Greater flamingos, a Plains zebra and most recently an endangered Grevy’s zebra.
For more information on visiting Marwell Zoo, go to www.marwell.org.uk
Main image and below: PhotosByGemma – bongo baby