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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Calf of endangered Mountain Bongo born in Mount Kenya 

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- A calf of the endangered and almost extinct Kenyan Mountain Bongo has been born at the Mount Kenya Wildlife Conservancy, officials said on Friday.

Donald Bunge, Mount Kenya Wildlife Conservancy Wildlife Manager, said the birth of the striking Mountain Bongo calf, provides renewed purpose toward the survival of the critically endangered antelopes’ species.

“The birth has renewed hope for the survival of this rare Mountain Bongo antelope whose population of about 100 in the wild worldwide is still below the threshold of 250 mature individuals required to make a genetically stable population,” Bunge said in a statement.

Bunge said efforts to breed the rare Mountain Bongo continue through viable support from Kenyan and international stakeholders.

Conservationists say Kenyan Mountain Bongo’s population has declined due to unrestricted hunting, poaching, loss of habitat, illegal logging in forests among other reasons.

Bunge said the birth, recorded late last week, has effectively raised the population of Kenyan Mountain Bongo antelopes at the Mount Kenya Wildlife Conservancy to 67.

A similar birth was recorded on Dec. 31, 2017 with several more expected this year.

The Kenyan Mountain Bongo’s natural habitat include the Aberdares, Mount Kenya, Mau and Eburu Forests. It is one of the two sub-species of Bongo antelopes, the other one being the Lowland Bongo.

Kenyan Mountain Bongos are characterized by a striking red chestnut color with about 9 to 16 white stripes on either side of the torso and long, spiraled horns.

They are considered by many as the most beautiful of antelopes.

Males weigh up to 450 kgs whereas females weigh up 250 kgs, hence making them the largest and heaviest forest antelopes.
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FURTHER READING:

Eleven baby bongo born in the safety of the Mount Kenya Wildlife Conservancy

             

 

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