Belfast Zoo are celebrating the birth of a new eastern bongo. The eastern bongo is listed as Critically Endangered, there are estimated to be less than 80 eastern bongos left in the wild.
The latest baby bongo is the first birth from Tombo and Surali, who were coupled up as a breeding pair just last year. The bouncing baby girl is called Jumapili, Swahili for ‘Sunday or born on Sunday’.
Nick, zookeeper, said ‘The pregnancy period for an eastern bongo can last between 9 and 9 ½ months, this varies depending on the female. We had known Surali was pregnant for some time now but couldn’t predict the date the birth would happen. The Saturday night before the birth I had a dream that the baby would be born the next day, when I arrived that morning my dream had come true! Our new baby bongo had been born in the middle of the night! It was a fantastic feeling walking into the zoo and seeing our new bongo baby bouncing about with her healthy mother and protective father.’ He continued ‘Tombo, Jumapili’s father, is playing an excellent fatherly role and is very ‘hands on’ and protective of her. Surali, Jumapili’s mother, is doing great after the pregnancy and is rearing her calf very well. Mother and calf are on show to the public at their enclosure. Jumapili or Juma for short can be seen strutting her stuff already! Bongos are one of the cutest babies in the animal kingdom when they are born. Don’t waste any more time, come visit the zoo and see our adorable baby Juma!’’
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