Potter Park Zoo Welcomes Rare Bongo Birth

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Beau the bongo calf born at Potter Park Zoo in April

Potter Park Zoo Welcomes Rare Bongo Birth

May 22, 2012

LANSING, MI – Potter Park Zoo is pleased to announce the birth of an Eastern bongo. 

“We’re proud of this successful bongo birth,” says Dr. Tara Harrison, veterinarian at Potter Park Zoo. “The calf seems to be a calm animal that is eager to explore his surroundings, and his mother is taking care of him with assistance from our keeper staff.” 

The bongo was born on the night of April 18, 2012 and has been named Beauregard, or “Beau’ for short, by his caretakers. Beauregard is the first bongo calf to be born at Potter Park in over 10 years, and he brings the zoo’s bongo population to four. He’s welcomed by first-time mother Bella, father Bock and friend Phoebe. 

“By participating in the Bongo Species Survival Plan (SSP), Potter Park Zoo contributes to a thriving captive population with maximum genetic diversity,” explains Lydia Bosley, keeper of the Bongo International Studbook. “This will eventually help to reintroduce the species and new bloodlines to Kenya.” 

Eastern bongos are critically endangered according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and they are found exclusively in a remote region in central Kenya. They are the only Tragelaphus (antelope-like animals) in which both sexes have horns, and it’s because of their horns that they are hunted by humans. There are believed to be about 200 bongos in accredited institutions in North America as part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP) program. 

Beauregard and his mother Bella will join Bock and Phoebe on exhibit soon. For updates and more information, visit www.potterparkzoo.org.

Potter Park Zoo is located at 1301 S. Pennsylvania Ave. within Potter Park along the Red Cedar River in Lansing, Michigan. The zoo is open daily year-round, summer hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, call (517) 483-4222 or visit www.potterparkzoo.org  


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