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bovid family
bovid family
other herbivores

wildlife (back to intro)

in this section
Blue Duiker
Gazelle tribe
Thomson's gazelle
Grant's gazelle
Kob antelope
Sable antelope
Oryx or Gemsbok
Topi or Tsessebe
Common Wildebeest
Greater Kudu
Common eland
African or Cape buffalo
Bongo: Tragelaphus (boocercus) eurycerus

The largest, most colorful and sociable African antelope.


Weight and Height
males: wt 528-891 lb (240-405 kg), ht 44-54 in (110-130 cm)
females: wt 462-557 lb (210-235 kg), ht 44-54 in (110-130 cm)

30-39 in (75-99 cm); males have massive horns, females have thinner, parallel horns; 1 turn.

smooth and glossy.

Females and young: chestnut back, darker thighs and legs. Males: darkening with age, end up blackish brown. Bongos have 12-14 white-yellow torso stripes, chest crescent, cheek patches, ear edging; black and white banded legs.

General Locations
There are isolated populations in forests in Kenya. The majority of bongos live in lowland rainforests of West Africa and Zaire to southern Sudan.

Bongos can be found in the following national parks and reserves: Aberdare NP and Forest Reserve, Kenya.

Bongos are typically found among ground-level shrubs and bushes in the rainforests. In the mountains, however, bongos are found in the thick forests and bamboo zones. Bongos both feed and depend for cover on bushes, herbs, and bamboo. The bongo has a very long tongue, which it uses to grasp bundles of leaves. It also uses its horns to pull down and/or break high branches.

Bongos are both diurnal and nocturnal. Bongos have been seen to visit water holes and salt licks only at night, which means that they might be afraid to come out during the day. In some cases, bongos have been seen to stay within bushes and shrubs during the day and feed only early and late in the day.

Social Systems
Herds of 5 or 6 bongos have been seen foraging for food. In some areas only pairs have been spotted while in one area a herd of 50 bongos were spotted. The number of bongos which herd together primarily depends on the area and time of year. Home ranges are generally around 39 sq mi (100 sq km). Almost 1/3 of the herds seen included 2 or more adult males, which shows that bongos are fairly non-territorial.

In Aberdares, bongos are known to breed seasonally. The mating patterns of bongos in the forest-ranges are currently unknown.

Man is the bongo's primary predator, but others include spotted hyena and leopard.

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