Alternative common names:
The bongo is the largest and heaviest forest antelope. It has an auburn or chestnut coat with 10 to 15 vertical white stripes running down its sides. Theyfound in disturbed forest mosaics that provide fresh, low-level green vegetation.
Where does this species come from?
West Africa and Zaire to southern Sudan.
What is its invasive status in South Africa?
NEMBA 2020 category 1a
Where in South Africa is it a problem?
Gauteng (It is found in the National zoological Garden in Johannesburg).
How does it spread?
Spread via pet trade. It’s a major trophy species which has been taken in increasing numbers in Central Africa by international sport hunters during the 1990s.
Why is it a problem?
Not yet known in South Africa.
What does it look like?
Description: The bongo is the largest and heaviest forest antelope. It has an auburn or chestnut coat with 10 to 15 vertical white stripes running down its sides. Females are usually more brightly colour than males. Both males and females have spiralled, lyre-shaped horns. The large ears are believed to sharpen hearing, and the distinctive coloration may help bongos identify one another in their dark forest habitats. Bongos have no special secretion glands, so they rely less on scent to find one another than do other similar antelopes.
Habitat: They inhabit lowland forests across most of its range, although it is found up to an altitude of 4,000 metres in the montane forest regions of East Africa, usually in tropical rainforest with dense undergrowth and areas with random clearings that provide fresh, low-level green vegetation.
Breeding: Females typically give birth to a single calf after a nine month gestation period. For a short period after birth calves are left alone, lying still in a sheltered spot to avoid detection by predators, with the mother periodically returning to nurse the calf. Young are weaned at six months, and become sexually mature at around 20 months of age