By Keisha Hines
The Animal Management and Veterinary Teams at Zoo Atlanta have confirmed that Matilda, a 3-year-old eastern bongo, is expecting a calf. The calf will be the first offspring for Matilda and her mate, 3-year-old Tambo. Matilda’s date of conception is uncertain, but her birth window is estimated to be between August and November 2011. Bongo gestation is approximately nine months.
Matilda’s newborn will join the ranks of one of Earth’s rarest mammal species. Recognizable by their deep, striped reddish coats and magnificent curved horns; eastern bongos are now believed to number fewer than 500 in the wild in their native Kenya. Matilda and Tambo have been recommended to breed by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Species Survival Plan, which seeks to maintain a self-sustaining, genetically diverse population within North American zoos and has reintroduced captive-born bongos to eastern Africa.
The Eastern Bongo Matilda Is Expecting
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