The Birmingham Zoo welcomes Nakuru, an Eastern Bongo, to Trails of Africa habitat

bongo, Birmingham Zoo
Meet Nakuru, an Eastern Bongo. Photo via The Birmingham Zoo.

The Birmingham Zoo has welcomed a new animal to their Trails of Africa habitat. Say hello to Nakuru—a young male Eastern Bongo. Read on to learn more about him. 

What is a bongo?

According to the African Wildlife Foundation, there are two currently recognized subspecies of bongos—Eastern Bongo and Western Bongo. This antelope is the largest, heaviest, and most colorful African forest antelope.

Nakuru, an Eastern Bongo, came to The Birmingham Zoo all the way from the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux, South Dakota, which is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA)

With the addition of Nakuru, The Birmingham Zoo has joined the AZA and other zoos around the world that are working to maintain Species Survival Plan (SSP) programs for cooperative breeding and conservation initiatives. 


The AZA’s Eastern Bongo SSP program includes:

  • 185 animals
  • 36 zoos

Learn more about the Eastern Bongo here.

Why did Nakuru join The Birmingham Zoo?

Birmingham Zoo
The Birmingham Zoo. Photo via Pat Byington for Bham Now

The International Union for Conservation of Nature has classified the Eastern Bongo as critically endangered with fewer than 100 estimated to remain in the world. 

Sad, I know. Happily, due to their vision to conserve wildlife and wild places, The Birmingham Zoo stepped in. 

“We take pride in being part of the global bongo conservation effort by the AZA accredited zoos to ensure these magnificent animals will survive into the future.” 

Chris Pfefferkorn, President & CEO, The Birmingham Zoo

How is Nakuru adapting to his new home at The Birmingham Zoo?

According to The Birmingham Zoo, Nakuru is doing great since her arrival. Described by his care team as laid back and interactive, Nakuru has done a good job getting acclimated to the conditions and environment of his new habitat and has also passed all of his medical exams. 

For updates on Nakuru, the Eastern Bongo, and more of The Birmingham Zoo’s adorable animals, follow them on Facebook and Instagram

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