Life Span: 20 years
Size: 1.7m-2.5m long; 110-253 at shoulder height
Weight: 210-405kgs with males heavier than females
Collective Noun: Herd
The Bongo is the largest of the forest antelopes
Horns: Both males and females grow long curved horns. The males horns are longer and wider than the females, growing up to 1m long! These horns begin to grow on calves from four months of age.
When threatened bongos will run through the dense undergrowth when threatened, with their heads back and horns low and flat against their back.
Superstitions: The Zande people of Sudan believed that if you touched or ate a Bongo you would get leprosy, as the oils in the Bongos coat stain skin orange. This protected the Bongo. Unfortunately, European settlers did not share this view and freely hunted the Bongo, severely reducing numbers.
Camouflage: The Eastern Bongo’s striking, striped, chestnut-red coat actually helps it camouflage itself among the thick, shady forest habitat it dwells in.
Feeding: The Eastern Bongo uses its tongue as a feeding tool to help grip, pick up and rip apart food. They will also use their horns to break high branches in order to attain more food.
Bongos rely heavily on their sense of hearing, as evidenced by their large directional ears.