Bongo - Tragelaphus Eurycerus
Bongo - Tragelaphus Eurycerus

About bongos.

There are two bongo subspecies: the lowland bongo and the mountain bongo. The difference between them is very subtle. The mountain one weighs an average of 45 kg more and its fur is brighter.


The mountain subspecies is critically endangered, there are only less than 200 individuals free in the mountains.


They are the largest forest antelopes in Africa and their horns are quite big. They are very strong animals, but they get easily frightened.


Even though its colors are visually appealing when it is not hidden in vegetation, the pattern of its fur allows him to go unnoticed in the shadows of the rainforest it inhabits.


These animals eat mainly at night, when they are less vulnerable to predators.


Male adults are solitary, but females are extremely social and not territorial, gathering in groups of up to 50 members (considering that there are only 200 left in the wild, it is a very high number).


Bongos mostly use their horns to push branches and plants aside when running from danger, not as a “weapon”, like other antelopes.


They have very large ears that improve their sense of hearing and helps them detect potential predators in the dark.


The tongue of the bongo is prehensile and long in order to easily grasp the leaves and vegetation they feed on.


These animals make a number of sounds (growls, snorts, moos, bellows and bleats) they use for communication purposes, mainly to alert their congeners to danger.


Females give birth in the dense vegetation of the rainforest, leaving the babies lying and camouflaged where predators can not find them, and returning only to nurse them. After the first week, they are strong enough to join the main herd.


Its main predator is the leopard, even though it can also be the lion in some areas.

A wild Bongo antelope in the bushlands near Nanyuki, Kenya. By action sports | Shutterstock.com
A wild Bongo antelope in the bushlands near Nanyuki, Kenya. By action sports | Shutterstock.com
COMMON NAMECONSERVATION STATUS
BongoNear threatened
SCIENTIFIC NAMESIZE
Tragelaphus eurycerus215 – 315 cm (7.1 – 10.3 ft)
FAMILYWEIGHT
Bovidae150 – 405 kg (331 – 893 lb)
ORDERLIFESPAN
ArtiodactylaUp to 19 years
CLASSGESTATION PERIOD
Mammalia9 months
POPULATIONDIET
15,000-25,000 individualsLeaves, sprouts and grass.
HABITATRANGE
Tropical rainforestsAngola, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ivory Coast, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Sierra Leone and Sudan.
Close up of antilope bongo in forest in nature. By Tadeas Skuhra | Shutterstock.com
Close up of antilope bongo in forest in nature. By Tadeas Skuhra | Shutterstock.com

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