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Baby bongo: Critically endangered antelope makes debut at Polish zoo

2 minute read

WARSAW, May 7 (Reuters) - A baby mountain bongo, born two weeks ago at Warsaw Zoo in Poland, was enjoying one of its first walks outside with her mother on Thursday after a cold spell kept her indoors until now.

Mountain bongos, the largest among African forest antelopes, are a critically endangered species with only about 70-80 adults left in the wild, according to the IUCN's Red List of Threatened Species.

The animals are nocturnal and have a striking appearance due to their long horns and their reddish brown coat offset with white or yellow markings in the form of thin vertical lines.

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A newborn mountain bongo, the largest of African forest antelopes, is seen in the Warsaw Zoo, Poland May 6, 2021. Picture taken May 6, 2021. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel

"They are difficult to breed (...) because of their character. We are the only zoo in Europe that keeps them in a pavilion open to visitors, and that's because those antelopes are extremely timid," said Sylwia Grodkowska, head of the ungulates section at the Warsaw zoo.

She said the baby was born during the night to a first time mother and that zoo employees had found the pair when they came to work in the morning.

Due to cold weather the baby had to stay inside for the first few days.

"It's an antelope, a small one. It only has two tasks: to eat and to sleep," Grodkowska said.

Reporting by Kacper Pempel; writing by Anna Wlodarczak-Semczuk, editing by Raissa Kasolowsky

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