Eastern Bongo


Scientific Name:Tragelaphus eurycerus isaaci

IUCN Status: Critically Endangered

Quick Fact: Current estimates indicate that fewer than 200 eastern bongo remain in the wild.

Learn More: visit the Bongo Surveillance Project to learn about efforts to protect the Afromontane forests of central Kenya- home of the eastern bongo.

The mountain or eastern bongo is a flagship species of the mountainous forests of Kenya. These mountains serve as water catchments and fresh water sources for much of the country, and are important sanctuaries for wildlife. As a large member of the antelope family, bongo live in herds in the densely forested mountainsides and meadows and feed on a variety of plants and fruits. The wild population of mountain bongo has declined drastically over the last four decades due to hunting and habitat loss, and the species is considered to be critically endangered.

The bongo herd at White Oak has been particularly successful with over 130 bongo calves being born in the past twenty five years. The bongo facilities and staff at White Oak are well suited to the care and breeding of this species. In 2004 White Oak participated with a repatriation project to send animals born in zoos back to Kenya. Eighteen bongo, including one animal born at White Oak, were gathered at White Oak prior to the shipment. White Oak staff accompanied the entire group as they were trans-located to a holding facility on Mt.Kenya for eventual reintroduction to the forests there.