Two mountain bongo calves have arrived at African Safari Wildlife Park in Port Clinton. One youngster was born to mother Aurora on June 18, and the other was born to mother Maleficent on June 23. Calvin is the father of both calves.
Park guests have the opportunity to view the animals daily in the Park’s Drive-Thru Safari.
The Park is hosting a “Baby Bongo Bash” at 2 p.m. on Sunday, July 16. The names and sexes of the calves will be revealed at this event, and animals throughout the Park will be given baby-themed treats and toys. Park staff have created an Amazon wish list with items the calves and parents will enjoy. The list can be accessed at www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/32JFDSKCEUMUX.
Mountain bongo are large antelope native to montain forests in Kenya, where their oversized ears help them detect would-be predators lurking nearby. Habitat loss and poaching have reduced the wild population to roughly 100 individuals, and the animals are listed as “critically endangered” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
In 2004, the Park provided logistical and financial support for the translocation of 18 captive-born mountain bongo from North America to Mount Kenya Wildlife Conservancy for a “rewilding” program. The Conservancy’s population has multiplied to 63 individuals in a semi-wild environment, and a 776-acre sanctuary was established in 2022 in partnership with the Kenyan government. The Park continues to support the Conservancy through its Guardian of Wildlife nonprofit.