Bongo Babies and Moms Reunited

Posted February 18, 2015


Bongo group: Stevie, Sukari, Kushinda and Mazi

CINCINNATI, OH (February 18, 2015) – The bongo bunch is back together and doing well! Moms “Stevie” and “Mazi” are now living as a group with their offspring. Male, “Sukari,” born on December 23, 2014, has been with his mom, Stevie, since birth.  Female, “Kushinda,” had to be separated from mom Mazi soon after she was born, in October of 2014, and has been bottle fed by keepers since then. (See below for details).  She is now weaned.

Regular play dates with Sukari have provided both young bongos much-needed social interaction and exercise and have made Kushinda’s transition into Stevie and Sukari’s group full time smooth. Since Mazi had no interest in Kushinda after giving birth, keepers were not sure how their reintroduction would go.  We’re happy to report that the four bongos are now together and all is well!

Original Post:
Two Bongo Calves Born at the Cincinnati Zoo
Daily play dates provide social interaction and exercise.

CINCINNATI, OH (January 27, 2015) – The baby boom continues at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden with the birth of bongo calves. Two bongo calves were born to different moms in the last months of 2014.  First-time mom, “Mawenza (aka ‘Mazi’),” gave birth to a female, “Kushinda,” in late October, but the two were separated after mom showed aggression toward her calf. “Stevie,” also a first-time mom, gave birth to a male, “Sukari,” on December 23, 2014, and has been caring for him as expected. Two-year-old “Beauregard” is the father of both.
Kushinda is being weaned from bottles, having been fed by her keepers since birth, and is moving to solid foods.  To provide social interaction and exercise, she is spending time daily with Stevie and little Sukari.  “These play dates give both calves a chance to stretch their legs, run around and become comfortable with each other so all bongos (including Mazi) can be integrated back together as a herd this spring,” said Josh Charlton, Curator of Mammals.

The Cincinnati Zoo has had 40 eastern bongo births since 1978. There are currently 53 males and 99 females in 36 institutions in North America
One of the largest forest antelopes, the shy and reclusive bongo wears a reddish coat with white stripes for camouflage. When startled, the bongo is able to run gracefully at full speed through the thick foliage, ducking under, darting around, or jumping over obstacles in its path.  Both sexes of the bongo display spiraled horns used for defense that grow to an average 2.5 feet.
The Cincinnati Zoo’s bongo herd will be on exhibit this spring. Look for play date updates on Facebook and Twitter.