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An Eastern bongo calf was born on Jan. 17 at the Naples Zoo. (CREDIT: Naples zoo)

Naples Zoo celebrates birth of Eastern bongo calf

The Naples Zoo is celebrating the birth of an Eastern bongo calf.

The female calf was born on Sunday to a 5-year-old bongo, Amara, according to a news release from the zoo.

The calf is healthy and thriving, weighing 46 pounds, and stands approximately 2-feet tall.

This is Amara’s third calf, but the first female, the zoo said. She has two males, named Bakari and Makumi. Bakari was born in Jan. 2019. Makumi was born in Dec. 2019.

The newborn calf will soon be introduced to her two brothers for public viewing. Zookeepers are brainstorming names for her and will make the announcement on social media next week, the zoo said.

An Eastern bongo calf was born on Jan. 17 at the Naples Zoo. (CREDIT: Naples zoo)

Bongos, a type of antelope, are critically endangered. Amara was paired with a male bongo through a Species Survival Plan based on their ancestry to create the greatest genetic diversity, according to the zoo.

The bongos arrived in Naples from two different zoos in Texas for mating.

Bongos are the largest of the forest antelope and can weigh between 525 and 880 pounds.

Bongos were all hunted in Uganda and about only 70 to 80 of the species remain in the wild in Kenya. They are suffering because of their loss of habitat and hunting, the zoo said.

Accredited zoos have been breeding bongos to help return them to their natural homes. In 2004, 18 of the animals were returned to the Mt. Kenya Wildlife Conservancy in Africa. Over 70 bongos now live there.

 

 

 

 

Writer:Melissa Montoya
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