Eastern mountain bongo Bowie joins the herd
Earlier this year Bowie, a male Eastern mountain bongo, arrived at Woburn Safari Park from Belgium. Keepers have high hopes for this male Bongo, to breed with the females living at Woburn Safari Park.
Eastern mountain bongo are classified as 'Critically Endangered' and the species is managed by a coordinator as part of the European endangered species programme. Bowie's move to the park was based on careful calculations made to ensure genetic diversity in the captive population and to match him for breeding with the female bongos living at the park.
Having fully settled into life at the park, five year old Bowie can be seen, along with the four females in his new herd in the African Forest, the woodland 14 acre drive-through enclosure in the Road Safari, shared with a large troop of Barbary Macaque monkeys.
As with most male bongos, Bowie has a much darker coat than the females, who have bright chestnut coats, so he is easy to tell apart.
Bongo are notoriously shy animals, however Bowie is a particularly chilled and friendly individual and he often comes over to greet the keepers in their patrol vehicles.
It is estimated that there are less than 100 individuals currently in the wild and it is thought that they could be extinct in less than 20 years, so Bowie's arrival and introduction to the herd is a crucial part of safeguarding the future of this species.