Keepers are calling the newest Brevard Zoo baby especially cute—and it’s easy to see why.
Clover the Eastern bongo gave birth to a female calf early on October 18. Keepers kept an eye on Clover and the yet-to-be-named calf, while giving them time to bond, over the following days. An exam by our veterinary team on October 21 confirmed that Clover and her calf are healthy.
The calf sports a red coloring, just like her mom, and will keep that coloring. Male bongos, like the calf’s father Sebastian, are brown. Both Eastern bongo sexes have horns, although the new calf hasn’t grown hers yet.
Keepers said first-time mom Clover is a “natural.” Clover is allowing her calf to nurse and tending to her by grooming her. The baby is resting in the habitat’s bushes and taking short trips to explore with Clover.
“These are all great natural behaviors that we are very happy to see,” said Chelsea Herman, the Area Supervisor for Expedition Africa.
Sebastian will be introduced back to Clover and the calf in a few weeks.
Native to Kenya, Eastern bongo are critically endangered due to habitat loss and poaching. While every animal birth is exciting, the anticipation for this birth was especially high given the status of this species in the wild.
Clover and Sebastian were matched by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Eastern bongo Species Survival Plan, a program that manages the populations of animals within AZA-accredited zoos to ensure healthy, genetically diverse populations.
The Zoo’s Eastern bongos, along with other animals, are visible from an electric train that takes guests throughout their expansive habitat. While Sebastian is still potentially visible from the train, Clover and her calf will be kept behind the scenes for a few weeks before being introduced to the holding space in the trainyard. This process will depend on Clover’s behavior and comfort.
Brevard Zoo is an independent, not-for-profit organization that receives no recurring government funding for our operating costs. Your generous support enables us to continue to serve our community and continue our vital animal wellness, education and conservation programs.