Zoo welcomes second critically endangered Bongo calf in two years

Dublin Zoo undated handout photo of a healthy eastern bongo calf that has been born at the attraction bringing the Zoo's bongo herd to five.
Dublin Zoo undated handout photo of a healthy eastern bongo calf that has been born at the attraction bringing the Zoo's bongo herd to five.

Dublin Zoo is celebrating the birth of a bongo - one of the rarest antelope species in the world.

As few as 75 eastern bongos exist in the wild in their native Kenya, where they are hunted in remote highlands for their horns and meat.

Dublin Zoo undated handout photo of a healthy eastern bongo calf with its mother that has been born at the attraction bringing the Zoo's bongo herd to five

Dublin Zoo undated handout photo of a healthy eastern bongo calf with its mother that has been born at the attraction bringing the Zoo's bongo herd to five

The calf's gender has yet to be confirmed because newborns are shy and naturally take cover to protect themselves.

But keepers say the youngster is healthy and being nurtured by its mother, Nanyuki.

It brings to five Dublin Zoo's herd of the unusual, big-eared antelopes, which are classified as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Helen Clarke-Bennet, of Dublin Zoo, said they are delighted with their second bongo calf in almost two years.

Dublin Zoo undated handout photo of a healthy eastern bongo calf with its mother that has been born at the attraction bringing the Zoo's bongo herd to five

Dublin Zoo undated handout photo of a healthy eastern bongo calf with its mother that has been born at the attraction bringing the Zoo's bongo herd to five

"The calf has been well-received by its mother, and grandmother Kimba has also taken a shine to the family's latest addition," she said.

"We're pleased to see the new arrival is feeding well and has adapted seamlessly to its newfound surroundings."

The eastern bongo's distinctive large ears help them hear approaching predators in the wild, such as leopards and hyenas.

Dublin Zoo undated handout photo of a healthy eastern bongo calf that has been born at the attraction bringing the Zoo's bongo herd to five

Dublin Zoo undated handout photo of a healthy eastern bongo calf that has been born at the attraction bringing the Zoo's bongo herd to five