Bongo Facts

Bongo Facts
Bongo is large antelope that belongs to the bovid family. There are two subspecies of bongo: lowland (western) and mountain (eastern). They can be found in eastern, western and central parts of Africa. Bongo inhabits lowland forests, bamboo thickets and tropical jungles. Many Africans avoid contact with bongos due to belief that these animals induce epilepsy-like seizures. Habitat loss (due to intense deforestation), diseases (rinderpest) and hunting are responsible for drastic decline in the number of bongos in the wild. Lowland bongo is classified as near threatened. Mountain bongo is classified as critically endangered (less than 100 animals are left in the wild).
Interesting Bongo Facts:
Bongo can reach 5.5 to 8.25 feet in length and 330 to 890 pounds of weight. Males are larger than females.
Bongo has glossy reddish-brown coat with thin mane on the back and 10 to 15 vertical white lines that stretch from the shoulders to the rump. Spots on the cheeks, chevron between the eyes and nose and crescent-shaped mark on the throat are white colored. Legs are covered with alternately arranged black and white bands.
Bongo has muscular body and long tail. Both males and females have spiral, lyre-shaped horns that can reach 30 to 39 inches in length. Horns are larger and more coiled in males.
Bongo has large ears and excellent sense of hearing.
Bongo is mostly active at dusk and dawn (crepuscular animal).
Bongo wallows in the mud to decrease body temperature during hot periods of year.
Bongo is herbivore (plant-eater). Its diet is based on leaves, flowers, twigs, bark and grass. Long, prehensile tongue facilitates removal of leaves from the branches and extraction of roots from the ground.
Natural enemies of bongos are lions, hyenas, leopards and pythons.
Bongo can reach the speed of 43 miles per hour when it needs to escape from the predators. It runs with horns positioned parallel to its back to avoid contact with nearby vines and lianas.
Males are solitary, while females and their offspring live in herds of 6 to 50 animals.
Bongos produce snorts, grunts and bleating noise when they are distressed. Females produce mooing calls for communication with their offspring.
Mating season of bongos takes place between October and January.
Pregnancy in females lasts 9 months and ends with one baby. Female leaves the herd to give birth in secluded area. Baby remains hidden in dense vegetation during the first week of its life, before it becomes ready to join the herd with its mother.
Young bongos grow quickly. Their horns start to develop at the age of 3 to 4 months. Bongos reach sexual maturity at the age of 2 to 2.5 years.
Bongo can survive 10 to 18 years in the wild and up to 19 years in the captivity.

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