Dublin Zoo welcomes new arrival of endangered species

The youngster brings the zoo's bongo herd to five

Dublin Zoo welcomes new arrival of endangered species

Image: Dublin Zoo/Patrick Bolger

Dublin Zoo is celebrating the birth of a healthy eastern bongo calf.

The species is classified as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Born January 5th, the new addition weighs 15kgs and is the offspring of mother Nanyuki and father Hodari.

The youngster brings Dublin Zoo's bongo herd to five and is a significant birth for both the team and the international breeding programme.

Image: Dublin Zoo/Patrick Bolger

These large, distinctively-marked antelopes can now only be found in one remote area of Kenya.

Bongos have large ears, which help them hear approaching predators in the wild - such as leopards and hyenas.

Only between 75 and 140 eastern bongos exist in the wild - a population in rapid decline.

The eastern bongo is commonly hunted in the wild for its horns and meat.

Image: Dublin Zoo/Patrick Bolger

Commenting on the birth, team leader Helen Clarke-Bennet said: "We are delighted to announce the birth of Dublin Zoo's second bongo calf in almost two years.

"The calf has been well-received by its mother and grandmother Kimba has also taken a shine to the family’s latest addition.

"We're pleased to see the new arrival is feeding well and has adapted seamlessly to its newfound surroundings."

The gender of the calf is yet to be confirmed, as new-borns tend to be quite shy and their natural instinct is to take cover as a way to protect themselves.