Scientific Name: Boocercus euryceros
Average lifespan: Up to 19 years in zoos
Size: Adult height is about 1.1-1.3 meters (3 ft 8 in-4 ft 3 in)
Weight: approximately 210–235 kg (460-520 lb)
Lifespan: 191/2 years recorded in captivity
Habitat: Special dense forest
The bongo is the largest and heaviest forest antelope. These spiral-horned creatures are found only in special dense forest habitats across tropical Africa. The western or lowland bongo lives mostly at night and is among the largest of the African forest antelope species.
What does a Bongo look like?
Bongos are characterised by a striking reddish-brown coat, black and white markings, white-yellow stripes and long slightly spiralled horns.
The bongo has a bright auburn or chestnut coat, with the neck, chest and legs generally darker than the rest of the body. Coats of male bongos become darker and buffy as they age until they reach a dark mahogany-brown colour. Coats of female bongos are usually more brightly coloured than those of males. The bongo is the largest and heaviest forest antelope. Both males and females have spiraled lyre-shaped horns.
How well does a Bongo hear?
The large ears are believed to sharpen hearing, and the distinctive coloration may help bongos identify one another in their dark forest habitats. Bongos have no special secretion glands and so rely less on scent to find one another than do other similar antelopes.
Where do Bongos live?
Bongos are found in rain forest with dense undergrowth. Specifically they are found in the Lowland Rain Forest of West Africa and the Congo Basin to the Central African Republic and Southern Sudan.
Bongos are found in dense tropical jungles with dense undergrowth up to an altitude of 4,000 meters (12,800 ft) in Central Africa, with isolated populations in Kenya. Bongos favour disturbed forest mosaics that provide fresh, low-level green vegetation.
What do Bongo horns look like?
Bongos have two heavy and slightly spiralled horns that slope over their back and like in many other antelope species, both the male and female bongos have horns. Both male and female Bongo's have horns. Unlike deer, which have branched antlers that they shed annually, bongos and other antelopes have pointed horns that they keep throughout their lifespan. Males have massive backswept horns while females have smaller, thinner and more parallel horns. Like all other horns of antelopes, the core of a bongo's horn is hollow and the outer layer of the horn is made of keratin, the same material that makes up human fingernails, toenails and hair. The bongo runs gracefully and at full speed through even the thickest tangles of lianas, laying its heavy spiralled horns on its back so that the brush cannot impede its flight.
What does a Bongo eat?
Like many forest animals bongos are herbivorous and feed on tree/bush leaves, bushes, vines, bark and pith of rotting trees, grasses/herbs, roots, cereals, shrubs and fruits.
Bongos require salt in their diet, and are known to regularly visit natural salt licks. They have been known to eat burned wood after lightning storms. This behavior is believed to be a means of getting salts and minerals into their diet. The bongo has a long prehensile tongue which it uses to grasp grasses and leaves.Suitable habitats for bongos must have permanent water available. A large animal, the bongo requires an large amount of food, and is restricted to areas with abundant year-round growth of herbs and low shrubs.
What are the natural enemies of the Bongo?
The young are vulnerable to pythons, leopards and hyenas. Lions have also been reported to kill bongos, but today the most serious predators are people living near forests, who often hunt bongos with dogs and set snares for them.
Did You Know?
Hunting has eliminated bongos in some areas. In the past taboos may have helped bongos survive, but that is no longer the case.
Bongos are shy animals. They often are solitary, but sometimes accompany one another in pairs.
Females and their young form small groups.
Download free Bongo wallpapers, click on the image to open the large version.
Bongo wallpaper 1
Bongo wallpaper 2
Bongo wallpaper 3
Bongo Coloring pages
Print free Bongo coloring pages, click on the image to open the large version.