Wednesday, Nov 27, 2019
Critically Endangered Bongo Calf Born
Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium is proud to announce the birth of an Eastern mountain bongo calf. Marvin, named by his keepers, was born on Sept. 13, 2019, and currently weighs about 90 pounds. Marvin can be seen in the African Grasslands exhibit, weather permitting. Bongos are native to forest regions in Kenya, Africa, and are the largest of the African forest antelope. The calf’s parents are Macie and Sherlock. Macie is 8 years old, weighs approximately 588 pounds, and has lived at the Zoo since her birth. Sherlock is 5 years old, weighs approximately 600 pounds, and arrived at the Zoo in 2016. Macie is also the mom to rare male/female twins that were born in 2014. Her daughter, Gemini, is still part of Omaha’s herd.
The Eastern mountain bongo is listed on the IUCN Red list as “Critically Endangered” due to habitat loss and deforestation. This birth is the 47th in the last year. There are 225 Eastern mountain bongos found among 40 institutions across the U.S., but there could be less than 100 remaining in their natural habitat.
Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium is one of the dedicated Association of Zoos and Aquariums members of the Bongo Species Survival Plan. The group works closely with the International Bongo Foundation to promote and facilitate bongo conservation in Kenya, with an emphasis on reintroduction efforts to Mount Kenya. This dedicated group began working with The Mount Kenya Wildlife Conservancy in 2004 to manage and maintain a bongo herd that originated from the U.S. zoo population. Along with the herds from Kenya, they form the foundation of the reintroduction program.