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Baby bongo bonanza

Date: 17 Jan 2020

Baby bongo

Belfast Zoo are celebrating the birth of a new eastern bongo.

The eastern bongo species is listed as critically endangered, there are estimated to be less than 80 eastern bongos left in the wild. The successful breeding of eastern bongos is crucial to species survival. This baby bongo is the first birth from our new couple Tombo and Surali who were coupled up at Belfast Zoo just last year. Our new eastern bongo is a bouncing baby girl, called Jumapili. Jumapili is Swahili for ‘Sunday born or born on Sunday’, the name was chosen as our little calf was born on a Sunday.

Nick, our bongo expert, said ‘ The pregnancy period for an eastern bongo can last between 9 and 9 ½ months, this can vary depending on female. We had known Surali was pregnant for some time now but didn’t have an exact date, this meant we weren’t sure when her baby would be born. Want to hear a funny story? I had a dream on Saturday night that the baby would be born the next day and when I arrived that morning my dream had come true! Our new baby bongo had been born in the middle of the night! It was a fantastic feeling walking into work and seeing our a new bongo baby bouncing about with her healthy mother and protective father.’

He continued ‘Tombo, Jumapili’s father, is playing an excellent fatherly role and is very ‘hands on’ and protective of her. Surali, Jumapili’s mother, is doing great after the pregnancy and is rearing her calf very well. Mother and calf are on show to the public at their enclosure. Jumapili or Juma for short can be seen strutting her stuff already! Bongos are one of the cutest baby when they are born, everyone should visit Belfast Zoo soon and see our adorable Juma!’’

Belfast Zoo will be open throughout the weekend and open as normal from 20 January. Belfast Zoo will be open from 10am to 4pm daily, last admission is 2.30pm animal houses close at 3.30pm. With our maintenance closure over it will be the perfect time to visit Belfast Zoo and see our latest baby bongo. Juma is on show at the bongo enclosure with her mother and father.