Bongo calf sightings!
Friday, May 16, 2014
Rare youngster is now making appearances on exhibit
Lucky visitors may get an adorable peek at one of the newest arrivals at Zoo Atlanta: Lawson, a 1-month-old eastern bongo calf. Lawson and his mother, Matilda, have begun making appearances in their outdoor habitat.
Born April 12, 2014, Lawson is the third offspring of Matilda and male Tambo. In the wild, eastern bongos typically hide very young calves in an effort to protect them from predators. Now that Lawson is old enough to follow his mother in a new environment, he and Matilda are expected to make more frequent appearances in coming days.
Lawson’s debut comes just in time for Endangered Species Day, which will be observed at Zoo Atlanta this Saturday, May 17. Special activities will include meet-and-greets with PBA30’s Daniel Tiger; screenings of the film “Born to be Wild;” an endangered species-themed scavenger hunt; and enrichment surprises for endangered and critically endangered species throughout the Zoo.
Eastern bongos are among the Zoo’s rarest mammals, with fewer than 500 believed to remain in the wild in their native Kenya. Matilda and Tambo were recommended to breed by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Bongo Species Survival Plan (SSP), which seeks to maintain a self-sustaining, genetically diverse population in North American zoos and has reintroduced captive-born bongos to eastern Africa. Zoo Atlanta is an active participant in the SSP and has supported bongos and their habitats through the Reeder Conservation Endowment Fund.