Welcome to Fast Facts with Reasons for Hope! I’m Carl Kerby.
Did you know the word bongo means “antelope”? There are two kinds of these antelope: the western, lowland bongo and the eastern, mountain bongo.
Now, here’s the wild thing! There are more than five hundred mountain bongo in captivity and less than two hundred in the wild.
So, why the low numbers to begin with? The bongo’s timid nature means there is very little research to answer that question. While hunting is the first thought, many used to have a superstition that eating a bongo would cause seizures so the animal was left alone by local tribes; however, the bongo does have natural predators in the leopard, spotted hyena, and python, which preys on the calves. The bongo is also very prone to diseases.
Though few in number, these beautiful creatures still manage to capture our attention.
Check back next week for our next Fast Facts with Reasons for Hope to learn more about the bongo. Until then… stay bold!