Potter Park Zoo welcomes new baby bongo

“Milestone for the zoo’s breeding efforts”
Published: Mar. 14, 2023 at 5:55 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - It’s spring baby fever time at Potter Park Zoo, and a rare eastern bongo calf was born March 5, making it the second bongo to be born at the zoo.

The baby bongo is healthy, and both mom and baby are eating well. The zoo said it is just waiting for the weather to warm up a bit before she will be seen by the public. Zookeepers said its breeding program is vital to prevent the extinction of this species.

Potter Park Zookeeper Adrianna Davidson has worked at the Lansing zoo with the bongos for six years. She said the birth of a new bongo is a milestone for the zoo’s breeding efforts.

“Our bongos are part of an SSP program which is a species survival plan, We brought in a male bongo a couple of years ago and now we have babies, which is awesome because our eastern bongos are a critically endangered species and there is only about a hundred left of them in the wild”, said Davidson.

The Potter Park Zoo now has two bongos that are a year apart. Zahara was born in 2022.

“Zahra just celebrated her first birthday and three days prior to that we had a baby Bongo”, said Davidson.

The new baby bongo doesn’t have a name yet. But, Davidson continues to monitor the new calf to make sure it is healthy. Just days after being born, it is already walking and exploring its new home.

“We have cameras up to make sure baby is nursing and we try to get weights every day to make sure baby is gaining weight,” Davidson said.

Bongos are native to Kenya. They are critically endangered because of deforestation and poaching. The bongos’ ornate horns and vibrant orange coats make them a target to hunters.

Nearly 500 animals call Potter Park Zoo home. Visit the Potter Park Zoo’s Facebook page to get updates on the bongo calf and learn more about other spring babies.

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