Zoo Welcomes Newborn Eastern Bongo, Celebrates Conservation Success

Like many people, you probably have a love of animals, and that is especially true when they are little babies. We appreciate the full-grown versions, but the miniature versions are just too cute to describe.

Imagine the joy that is experienced at a zoo when the new baby animal is born. It is even greater when an endangered species has a baby because each birth is a step toward survival.

At the Potter Park Zoo in Lansing, Michigan, they experienced just such a joyful event when an Eastern bongo was born. As a critically endangered species, the Eastern Bongo could certainly use the boost to its numbers.

Although the species is endangered, the zoo is doing a great job at helping to boost the numbers. This calf is the fifth that was born at the zoo and the second since 2014.

Although these animals may live in Michigan, you would actually have to go to sub-Saharan Africa to find the eastern bongo in the wild. As the third largest antelope worldwide, they are well known for their white and yellow stripes and long spiraling horns.

There also well known because they are critically endangered. Poaching and damage to their habitat through logging have caused their numbers to diminish. There are more Eastern bongos in captivity than there are in the wild.

Since there are so few of these animals alive, the fact that one was born at the zoo is great news. The director of animal health at the zoo said that the calf is healthy, and the mother has raised young in the past.

In accredited zoos in the United States, there are about 300 Eastern bongos in captivity. Thanks to these breeding programs, the possibility of extinction is reduced.

The birth of the Eastern bongo occurred just after one of the oldest Eastern bongos passed away. That 14 1/2-year-old animal will be missed.

It isn’t that the newborn calf is a replacement, but it is amazing that when one dies, another is born. We are thankful that this young one is doing well and I hope that more people will protect the species as a result of this good news.