The Los Angeles Zoo has officially announced its newest addition: a baby bongo.
Eastern bongos are striped forest antelopes, with large ears and horns. They are found in the wild in East Africa and are critically endangered according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, which maintains the so-called red list of species facing extinction.
Only 75 to 140 wild bongos are thought to still live in Kenya.
“This birth is a true testament to the work zoos are doing to sustain critically endangered species,” said Josh Sisk, the curator of mammals at the Los Angeles Zoo in a press release.
“Babies like this little bongo calf engage visitors and allow the Zoo to spread their conservation message. It is our hope that he will one day father offspring of his own.”
The baby bongo, a male, is almost 2 feet tall and weighs about 55 pounds. In a video shared by the zoo, he stays close to his parents, occasionally bounding over a low divider in the enclosure where he lives.
Adult bongos are about 4 1/2 feet tall and weigh between 500 and 800 pounds, according to the zoo.
He was born Jan. 20. His arrival has just been announced because he is now living with the adult bongos at the zoo, and visitors can see him.
According to the zoo press release, the baby bongo is the son of a five-year-old mother named Rizzo and a seven-year-old father named Asa and lives with two other females in a small herd at the zoo.
“Also housed in the same habitat are two yellow-backed duikers, a forest-dwelling antelope found mainly in central and western Africa. The bongo calf has been very curious [about] his new neighbors and has expressed interest in getting to know them better,” the zoo stated.
According to the African Wildlife Foundation, a conservation group, bongos can live up to 19 years in captivity.
Which means this bongo will eventually need a name. We humbly suggest Bingo.
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