"The foal was born right in the enclosure and in front of astonished visitors. It spent its first night in the outdoor enclosure. The next day, the pair moved to the indoor stables. They will stay inside for about a week until the rare and long-awaited addition gets a little stronger," says zoologist Luděk Čulík. "The check showed that the foal weighs 25 kilos," adds the zoologist. The last foal of this increasingly rare species was born in Dvůr Králové eight long years ago. Then the experts, in cooperation with the European breeding coordinator, set up a new breeding group.
The mother is the six-year-old female Kari from Münster, Germany, and the father is nine-year-old Demba from Berlin. This is the first offspring for both of them. The genealogy of both parents of the foal includes animals directly from Kenya. Among their ancestors are animals that Josef Vágner brought from Africa to Dvůr Králové in 1974. Demba's line was later significantly enriched by animals from the USA.
Safari Park Dvůr Králové is a key player in the breeding of mountain bongos, of which only about 96 remain in the wild, exclusively in Kenya. Including the current cub, 106 of these magnificent antelopes have been born here. In addition, the safari park is also supporting bongos' conservation directly in Africa by working with the Mount Kenya Wildlife Conservancy, which is working to return mountain bongos to the slopes of Kenya's highest mountain. Proceeds from this year's CSOB Safari Run will also contribute.
"I have known Mount Kenya Wildlife Conservancy and have been visiting regularly with the team since 2009. It is an extraordinary facility and I am glad that after long negotiations we can now start supporting it intensively in saving the mountain bongos," says the director of the Dvůr Králové Safari Park, Přemysl Rabas.
The rescue of the bongos will also be helped by donations to the WILDLIFE account, which is used to develop species rescue projects directly in Africa. Since the beginning of the year, CZK 5 from the ticket of every visitor who visits the safari park has been going to this account.
The mountain bongo lives, as its species name suggests, at higher altitudes. According to the IUCN, 96 adult animals remain in the wild exclusively in a few locations in Kenya and numbers continue to decline. Moreover, populations from the four known sites are separate and cannot mix naturally. It is one of the largest antelope species.
A mountain bongo foal was born. We had been waiting for eight long years
On June 29th, a foal of critically endangered mountain bongo was born right in the enclosure. The female has been caring for the offspring since the very first moments and eventually moved with it to the stables. The pair will stay there for about a week before returning to the exhibit. The Safari Park is also intensively supporting the conservation of the mountain bongos on the slopes of Kenya's highest mountain.