The calf named Winston was born March 5 to proud parents Fern and Howard. He and his mother have been “snug as a bongo in their comfy stall” ever since, the zoo said on Facebook.
Animal lovers got their first glimpse of Winston last week when the zoo shared a video of him on Twitter. It showed the big-eared youngster trotting around his enclosure.
According to the African Wildlife Foundation, bongos are a rare species of antelope found in tropical rainforests from Senegal to Kenya. The bongo population has declined by 20% over the past three generations, largely due to hunting, either for meat or by tourists for sport, according to the foundation.
The Denver Zoo is home to four adult eastern bongos, which are even rarer than their western counterparts. They can only be found in a small forested area in central Kenya. Eastern bongos are considered critically endangered: fewer than 200 remain in the wild.
In their natural habitat, bongos give birth in “traditional birthing grounds” where they hide their young until the young are old enough to accompany their mothers.
Winston appears tiny in the zoo video, but he won’t stay tiny for long. Bongos are actually one of the largest forest antelopes. Once he reaches his adult height, Winston will likely stand between 3.5 and 4.5 feet at the shoulder and weigh between 460 and 900 pounds.
Baby Winston is not yet on public display. But fans can admire his distinctive orange-red fur, white stripes, and large lined ears.
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