Eastern bongo, also known as mountain bongo (Tragelaphus eurycerus isaaci) is an antelope listed as critically endangered by the Antelope Specialist group of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), with fewer wild specimens remaining than those in captivity, due to poaching and logging.
Now, BIOPARC Valencia in southeastern Spain has received four members of this species, in the hope that they will reproduce, thus saving the species from extinction.
The zoo said in a statement obtained by Zinger News on Wednesday that it had received “a group of eastern bongo, an endangered species.”
The zoo said: “The eastern bongo is a beautiful African forest antelope that is listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources as Critically Endangered.
“Its delicate situation has prompted international mobilization to ensure its survival, which is why the European Captive Breeding Program (EEP), in which BIOPARC Valencia participates in an appropriate manner, is essential.
“Since 2013 in Valencia Park, four precious calves have been born, which have been transferred to other centers to create new groups.
“Now the garden intensifies its function with the new strategy of housing a group of males, for which it has acquired four birds that form a family nucleus, for they are the father and his young offspring, aged between one and two.”
They said the bongo came from Germany, saying: “Coming from the Frankfurt Zoo (Germany), it can now be seen in the enclosure characteristic of the multi-species of the region recreating the African tropical forest.”
Shockingly, there are less than 100 of them left in the wild. The zoo said: “According to the latest data, the population in the wild will be around 70-80 individuals, with aggravating conditions found in four isolated groups in Kenya.
“These forms would put him below the threshold for survival. Hunting for his meat but also for his exotic skin and beautiful horns, as well as the destruction of his habitat, are the main threats.
“In this sense, in parallel with the conservation of the off-site environment with the breeding in the parks, the work aims to solve these problems to stop their degradation and restore their space until a suitable environment is provided to be able to reproduce new animals.”
The zoo said the rare antelope was the most endangered species on its premises. “The eastern bongo is the most endangered subspecies of all those hosted by BIOPARC Valencia. For the entire team of professionals in the park, ensuring maximum well-being, in this case, is even more important knowing that each of these animals represents the hope of preventing extinction This majestic unknown antelope.”
The zoo also said: “It is estimated that 150 species are going extinct every day, one every 10 minutes, and many of them may be disappearing before we even know they exist.
“One of the biggest tragedies we face is biodiversity loss, and it is a real challenge to stop this situation.
“BIOPARCs are ‘gardens of life’ whose primary goal is nature conservation. Part of this work is to save endangered species from extinction.”
This story was provided to Newsweek by Zenger News.