This year Baby New Year is a bongo.
Florida’s Jacksonville Zoo recently announced the arrival of a baby Eastern bongo (also known as a forest antelope) on Dec. 28. Bongos are critically endangered in their native habitat, the mountains and tropical forests of sub-Saharan Africa.
This is one of many reasons to celebrate the little grazer’s arrival. According to The Florida Times-Union, the unnamed female calf weighed 50 lbs. at birth. The baby and her mom are both doing well. Zookeepers are “especially thrilled” to see mom Molly, an older animal, thrive after the birth, since this calf is her first baby in eight years. The father is a 10-year-old bongo named Tambo.
Since the calf has a clean bill of health from the vet, she has already made her public debut. The baby is currently sharing an enclosure with her mom, dad, half-sister and aunt. This happy herd is also joined by two yellow-backed duikers, a smaller mountain species of African antelope.
This new arrival is important to the conservation of the Eastern bongo, which is close to extinction in the wild mainly due to habitat loss from logging.