Eastern Bongo

The Eastern Bongo (Tragelaphus eurycerus isaaci) is a large, critically endangered ungulate (hoofed) mammal. It is a bovine antelope. It is also known as the Mountain Bongo.

The Eastern Bongo has reddish-brown fur, black and white markings, 10-15 white vertical stripes, and long, slightly-spiralled horns (they twist only once). Both the male and the female have hollow horns, but the male has longer horns. It has a white stripe between its eyes and two white spots on its cheeks. It has large ears. It has a black nose and white lips. 

It grows to 110-130 centimetres (43-51 inches) at shoulder height and is 215-315 centimetres (85-124 inches) long. Its tail measures 45-65 centimetres (18-26 inches). 

Eastern Bongo, Museum of Natural History in Paris

There are two species of Bongo. The Western Bongo, or Lowland Bongo (Tragelaphus eurycerus eurycerus) is native to countries in west Africa, such as Cameroon, the Central African Republic, the Republic of the Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Ivory Coast, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and South Sudan. The Eastern Bongo is native to a small area of the Aberdare Mountains in central Kenya. It prefers mountainous dense forests and tropical jungles. 

It is nocturnal, active at night. It is timid and easily frightened.

It is an herbivorous browser, eating leaves, bushes, vines, bark, roots, and fruit.

It is usually seen in small groups of 6-8 individuals.

The female is pregnant for 285 days, before giving birth to one live young, called a calf. Its horn begins to show after about 100 days. 

Eastern Bongo, Museum of Natural History in Paris
Eastern Bongo, Museum of Natural History in Paris
Eastern Bongo, Museum of Natural History in Paris

Photographer: Martina Nicolls


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