Mountain Bongo


Scientific Name

Tragelaphus eurycerus

Species Survival Plan



Tropical jungles with dense undergrowth


Leopard and man


Leaves, shoots and grasses

Originally Native To

Congo Basin


42 - 51 inches at shoulder


525 - 880 lb.


Red chestnut coat, 10-15 vertical stripes; lyre-shaped horns in both sexes

Gestation Period

9 months


1 Calf

Birth Season

Any season


Wild ?
Captivity 19 years

Social Behavior

Solitary, in pairs or small groups of 9 or less; females and young


About Mountain Bongo

The bongo, a striking coppery red antelope with white stripes, is shy and elusive. Most active at dusk and dawn, they will emerge at night to visit salt licks.

There appears to be a female hierarchy in the herd. Female social grooming also indicates that females may stay together for long periods of time and establish a rank order. At Fossil Rim, as well as in the wild, a female leads the group, in single file, to water or food and will return in the same way.

Poaching, habitat destruction and illegal trapping for food and skins have resulted in the decline of bongo populations. Hunting with dogs has also impacted this species.

Fortunately, there have been concerted conservation efforts over the last few decades to help protect the bongo. A robust captive population and full protection under the Kenyan Wildlife Service have helped increase bongo numbers in the wild.

Captive individuals from America have been used in the Bongo Repatriation Program. In January of 2004, the first captive bongos were moved to the Mount Kenya Wildlife Conservancy.


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As a private nonprofit corporation, Fossil Rim does not receive national or state government support. Every cent spent or donated here goes in some way, directly or indirectly, toward the care of our animals.