Tuesday, January 24, 2012
ABC Wednesday: B is for Bongo
Bongos (Tragelaphus eurycerus) are a fairly large (about 1m shoulder height) antelope native to much of Africa. They live in light forests that have enough ground vegetation for them to forage on, but are dense enough to hide in. The stripes help making the bongo invisible, they are also mainly nocturnal. Here's a video of a bongo, note the comparatively short legs - useful for getting around in a forest where long legs build for speed like other antelopes have would just be in the way.
Both sexes carry those long horns, the horns of the males are a bit more twisted than those of the females. Males are also much heavier than females. Adult males are usually solitary, although not territorial, while the females live in groups with their calves, led by an experienced female. A female gives birth to one calf that is nursed for about six months.
The Bongo is considered Near Threatened by the IUCN. The reason for this is mainly the destruction of its habitat, vast forests are turned into small islands and the bongos can no longer easily migrate from one area to the other for food or to find a mate.
More Bs at ABC Wednesday
Photos were taken at Wilhelma Stuttgart and Wuppertal Zoo.
Sources and further reading:
Animal Diversity Web