The bongo is the largest and heaviest species of antelope. They also boast some impressive horns. They’re only found in rainforests with a mass of undergrowth across the tropical regions of Africa. They can be found in lowland rainforests of Western Africa as well as the Congo Basin, all the way to the Central African Republic and Southern Sudan.
First the Stats…
Scientific name: Tragelaphus eurycerus
Weight: 500 – 900 lbs
Height: 50 in (at the shoulder)
Length: Over 8 ft
Lifespan: Up to 21 years (in captivity)
Now on to the Facts!
1.) There are two subspecies of bongo: lowland (western) and mountain (eastern).
2.) They have spiral horns that reach up to 39 inches in length!
3.) Bongos are crepuscular (awake during dusk and dawn).
4.) A bongo will coat themselves in mud which acts as sort of a sun screen as well as cooling them down.
5.) If necessary, the bongo can reach speeds of up to 40+ mph!
But wait, there’s more on the bongo!
6.) Males are solitary however, females live in herds of up to 50; which includes their young.
7.) The bongo is a herbivore (eats plants) that eats primarily leaves, flowers, twigs, bark and grass. They have a long, prehensile tongue that they use to strip leaves from plants.
Did you know…?
They are a prize target for big-game trophy hunters which has devastated local populations.
8.) Their horns start to develop by 3 to 4 months of age.