Friday, 25 September 2009

Forest Dwellers

There are two species of Bongo - Western/Lowland Bongo Tragelaphus eurycerus eurycerus and the Eastern/Mountain Bongo Tragelaphus eurycerus isaaci.
Edinburgh zoo has three Bongo - two females and one male and I am not entirely sure which species they are but there are more Mountain Bongos in captivity around the world and their status is Endangered unlike the Lowland Bongo which is only 'near threatened'.

The two females are - Emi born on 12 September 2007 (hope she had a nice birthday!) and Esainkiki (Kiki for short) born on 24 August 2007. A Bongo's gestation period is 9.5 months so these two ladies are not sisters. They are both bold and vivacious Fire Pigs in the Chinese Horoscope and both being Virgos are very giving.
The male is Djembi born on 3 March 2005. He is a Wood Rooster in the Chinese Horoscope and being a Piscean does not like confrontation.

Kiki, Emi and Djembi have a large paddock with a sizeable pond at Edinburgh Zoo. They look very relaxed and though they are secretive forest dwellers they have adapted well to an open enclosure with a few trees surrounded by bushes for privacy.

Bongo are indeed incredibly handsome antelope with the most striking markings. Bright whites on a rich chestnut coat and the softest brownest eyes ever!
Karen from etsy shop Rare Friends raises money to help the Bongos from the sale of T-shirts, Caps and Totes. The funds go directly to the Rare Species Conservatory Foundation (RSCF).
This T-shirt has a gorgeous photograph of a male. The green leaves compliment the rich chestnuts!
A great way to wear your ethics on your sleeve! Or keep your cause close to your heart! Or put your back into helping the endangered bongos!

In January 2004 the RSCF repatriated 18 Mountain Bongo to Kenya after 10 years of hard work. The programme is detailed and well thought out and will ensure a self-sustaining wild population of bongo in Mt. Kenya.
However the illegal bushmeat trade in Africa is threatening all animals, not just endangered ones. Please do not purchase animal parts on your African travels nor from internet sellers. These activities will only fuel the demand for more 'product' - irrespective of where they come from.
The Bushmeat Crisis Task Force is fighting hard to combat this trade. You can take action and make a Bushmeat Promise to help them in the most suitable and convenient way for you. If helping becomes a chore then sometimes even the most ardent become dispirited so the Promise has been designed to work with you to help them help the animals.

One of the ladies has a very close friendship with a Red River Hog in her paddock (also an Equatorial African forest dweller). I watched them all for about half an hour and Hamish the hog constantly grazed under his companions underbelly.

Hamish was born 2 October 2006 and will be a charismatic Fire Dog in the Chinese Horoscope and being Libran will be a just and kind soul.
Hamish is a father and recently had piglets! Though his friendship with one of the ladies is very loyal indeed! Love knows no boundaries.

Here is Djembi in the sun. His horns are mimicked on his chest with a white flash in the same shape. Very striking!
And you would have noticed in all the photos that they have impressive ridges of hair down their backs, including Hamish.
After Emi, Kiki and Hamish had been over to the wood fence to investigate my presence they joined Djembi for communual same-way grazing (as observed regularly with cows and sheep in fields).

My young nieces had been to see the Bongo and Red River Hog but the penguin parade was on and since they are the same height as the penguins they dashed over there! perhaps hoping to blend in and join the avian parade?
Want to know what the pingus are up to now? UK daylight hours apply.


  1. Funny animals
    I love the pigs ...... ;)
    Great post today !!
    Have a wonderful weekend

  2. Thanks so much for mentioning RSCF's work with bongo. The animals pictured here are indeed mountain bongo, and are hightly endangered in the wild. On our website,, you will find links to video and photographs of bongo in captivity and in the wild. A truly magnificent example of Africa's amazing biodiversity.

  3. thank you Anya - the pigs are adorable!

    you are welcome RSCF. Your link is below the 4th photo. Thanks for the great work you are doing with the bongo.

    thanks Pey! always a delight to visit the zoo. Every year it improves the living conditions for the animals and that is very important.

  4. Thanks so much for sharing these photos and the information, Annette! The bongo are really beautiful - and I love Djembi and the piglets!

  5. Hi Annette :) I LOVE your astrological dissertation and analysis !!! It just had me cracking up with laughter... now, just remember that the sun sign is just a part of the picture. lol.

    The bongos are so beautiful... such gentle faces and i love the graceful stripes.

    Thanks so much for introducing them to me !

  6. Thanks for a lovely read on a Saturday night :)



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