The chestnut red and white striped coat of the eastern bongo, also known as the mountain bongo, helps it to camouflage with the undergrowth and shadows of the forests it lives in. Female bongos tend to live in groups of 6-8 individuals, whereas males are primarily solitary, only forming groups during breeding season. Both male and female bongos have horns that spiral and grow backwards so that they do not get in the way as the bongos run through the dense forest growth. Bongos are primarily nocturnal, but will feed throughout the day.

Eastern Bongo

Tragelaphus eurycerus isaaci

Distribution: Forest patches on Mount Kenya, in the Mau Eburu Forest and in the Aberdares in Kenya

Diet in the Wild: Vegetation at forest edges, including grasses and shrubs. They will also ingest dirt and lick rocks to absorb minerals.

Diet at Caldwell Zoo: Grain, alfalfa, hay, various fruits and vegetables

IUCN Red List Status: Critically endangered, population decreasing

Threats: Habitat destruction, hunting for bongo meat, disease transmission from cattle grazing

Interesting Facts:

As of the IUCN’s previous assessment of the eastern bongo population in 2016, it is estimated that there are only 70-80 mature adults remaining in the wild.

Both male and female bongos have horns, though the horns of males are larger and spiral more noticeably than those of females.

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