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’
“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
Bunge said efforts
to breed the rare Mountain Bongo continue through viable support
from Kenyan and international stakeholders.
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.
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.
Eleven baby bongo born in the safety of the Mount Kenya