The Montgomery Zoo Animal Care Team is proud to announce the birth of Massamba, a male Eastern Bongo. He was born on April 11, 2021 weighing a very healthy 44 pounds. Prior to his public debut on May 14, he was bonding with his mom (Gertie) behind the scenes in the Zoo’s Africa section. And if you are wondering about the name, he was named by Joe Hauser, Keeper II over African hoofstock. Massamba means “leaves” in Swahili.
The Eastern Bongo is the largest forest-dwelling antelope species and one of the most distinctive, with a chestnut colored coat and long horns that spiral as high as 36 inches in males. Mountain bongos have chestnut brown fur with vertical white stripes along their sides. Their face is quite distinct with a dark muzzle, white stripe between the eyes and white spots on their cheeks. They are native to the lowland rainforests of West Africa and the Congo Basin to the Central African Republic and southern Sudan. Like many forest ungulates, Eastern Bongos are herbivorous browsers and feed on leaves, bushes, vines, bark and pith of rotting trees, grasses/herbs, roots, cereals, and fruits. Bongos require salt in their diets, and are known to regularly visit natural salt licks.
Massamba, mom, and the rest of the Eastern Bongo herd can be seen daily at the Montgomery Zoo’s Africa section. Hurry, Massamba will grow fast.
The Montgomery Zoo and Mann Wildlife Learning Museum is a 42-acre zoological facility located minutes from the heart of historic, downtown Montgomery. The Montgomery Zoo features five continental realms housing over 500 species of animals from Africa, Asia, Australia, North America, and South America. Adjacent to the Zoo is the Mann Wildlife Learning Museum, housing the one of the Southeast’s largest collections of preserved North American wildlife and artifacts.