Our male bongo, Bacala, has had a new companion for a few weeks now. She comes from Bioparc Valencia following a recommendation from the European Endangered Species Programme (EPP) the Zoo is taking part in, for the conservation of this endangered species. Chepalunga - which is her exotic-sounding name - is a very calm female that even eats from her carers’ hands. Although she does not quite fully trust him for now, she appears to like Bacala. By contrast, everything clearly suggests that hereally likes this her! Under the supervision of the Zoo's technical team, the couple are gradually being brought together so they can get to know each other and their courtship run smoothly. In this vídeo you can watch their first contacts!
The bongo (Tragelaphus eurycerus isaaci) is a large antelope that lives in the rain forests of central and western Africa, and one of its most notable features, besides its size, is its bright colouring, which makes it very visible outside woodland but camouflages it completely among vegetation. Its situation in the wild is very delicate: it is in critical danger of extinction because it is hunted by man, who is also destroying its habitat. The eastern sub-species, the one that our female belongs to, now only lives in isolated populations in a few national reserves and parks in Kenya. Maintaining populations in captivity may be key to their survival.