HOUSTON – After an incredibly busy winter, the Houston Zoo’s male eastern bongo Bobby is a daddy, times three! Over a span of three and a half weeks, the three female bongos each gave birth to healthy calves. Penelope gave birth on July 21 to a male calf, Bernadette on July 29 to a female, and Lily is our most recent mother, birthing her male calf on Aug. 15. After spending time bonding behind-the-scenes, all three baby bongos and their mothers can be seen daily in the bongo yard at the Houston Zoo.
Eastern bongos are pregnant for nine and a half months, and while the stunningly striped antelopes are known for their spiraled horns, calves are born without them and start to become visible around four months of age.
To the casual observer, all bongo calves look alike, however bongos can have 10 to 14 white stripes on each side and each side can present a different configuration.
In the wild, bongos are shy and elusive but very social. In fact, bongos are the only forest antelope to form herds. Bongos are among the largest of the African forest antelope and are native to the lowlands and mountain forests of Kenya and western Africa. The Houston Zoo is recycling cell phones to help save bongos in the wild. Everyone can do their part to save these incredible animals by recycling their cell phones at the Zoo. These devices contain a metal, mined where bongos live, and recycling the cell phones reduces the demand for new materials to be mined. Less mining means more space for bongos to thrive.