Nashville Zoo Announces Birth of Eastern Bongo

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Nashville Zoo Bongo Calf Large

Nashville Zoo's bongo calf named Midaya - Photo by Amiee Stubbs

Nashville Zoo Announces Birth of Eastern Bongo

Mar 13, 2013

For Immediate Release: March 13, 2013

Contact: Jim Bartoo at (615) 833-1534 ext. 126 or

Nashville Zoo is proud to announce the birth of an Eastern bongo. The female calf, named Hidaya (Swahili for gift), was born to the Zoo’s breeding pair Brooks and Linus on February 5.

“This was the first bongo birth at Nashville Zoo in over seven years,” said Connie Philipp, mammal curator at the Zoo. “The Eastern bongo is on the brink of extinction, so every birth plays an important role in its conservation.”

With the birth of Hidaya, Nashville Zoo is now home to three Eastern bongos that live in an off-exhibit habitat. Guest riding the Zoo’s Wilderness Express Train may occasionally get a glimpse of the bongo family.

Eastern bongos are listed as critically endangered by the International Union of Conservation of Nature, with less than 500 believed to be left in their native range of central Kenya. Hidaya’s birth is a result of a breeding recommendation by the Association of Zoos and Aquarium (AZA)’s Bongo Species Survival Plan, which works to maintain a self-sustaining, genetically diverse population within AZA-accredited institutions.

Nashville Zoo is accredited by the prestigious Association of Zoos and Aquariums, assuring the highest standards of animal care and husbandry. Attracting more than 787,000 visitors annually, the Zoo is considered one of the top things to do in Nashville. The Zoo is a non-profit organization located at 3777 Nolensville Pike and is open every day except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. The mission of Nashville Zoo is to inspire a culture of understanding and discovery of our natural world through conservation, innovation and leadership. For more information about Nashville Zoo, call 615-833-1534 or visit

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