In recent weeks, the Belfast Zoo has welcomed two new baby Eastern bongos, a critfically endangered antelope species.
Bo was born on 24 February, to mother, Fern and Bert was born on 14 March, to mother, Willa. Resident male, Embu, is father to both calves. [See the new bongo babies .]
Eastern bongos are native to the mountain forests of Kenya, and are endangered by hunting and increasing rates of deforestation. The Bongo Surveillance Programme estimates that there could be as few as 75 to140 individuals left in the wild.
Zoos are playing a role in the effort to help the species survive both by breeding calves and with a reintroduction program started in 2004 that reintroduced bongos from zoos across America into the wild.
Since 2005, the Belfast Zoo has bred over 22 calves, including 5 males and 17 females.