Dublin Zoo welcomed a new year baby with the birth of a Bongo calf on 5th December.
The eastern bongo is a species classified as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
The youngster brings Dublin Zoo's bongo herd to five and is a significant birth internationally as these large, distinctively-marked antelopes can now only be found in one remote area of Kenya.
A population in rapid decline, mainly hunted for horns and meat, there are only between 75 and 140 eastern bongos living in the wild
The new arrival weighed 15kgs and is the offspring of mother Nanyuki and father Hodari. Bongos have large ears, which help them hear approaching predators in the wild, such as leopards and hyenas.
Helen Clarke-Bennet, team leader of the African Plains said, “We are delighted to announce the birth of Dublin Zoo’s second bongo calf in almost two years. The calf has been well-received by its mother and grandmother Kimba has also taken a shine to the family’s latest addition. We’re pleased to see the new arrival is feeding well and has adapted seamlessly to its newfound surroundings.”
The gender of the calf is yet to be confirmed as newborns tend to be quite shy and their natural instinct is to take cover as a way to protect themselves, so visitors will need to be patient when trying to spot the bongo calf!
There is also one day remaining in the competition to win a pass for Dublin Zoo by naming the scimitar-horned oryx that was born on 8th December 2016.