Adorable floppy-eared mountain bongo born at Marwell Zoo

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Marwell Zoo/Cover Images

A critically endangered mountain bongo has been born at Marwell Zoo.

The adorable floppy-eared new arrival was born to parents Canela and Ituri on Monday, 30 January. The bongo calf is said to be doing well, with mother Canela reported to be doing a great job of attending to her new charge.

The sex of the new calf isn't currently known and keepers will leave Canela and her calf to bond and gain confidence during these early stages.

Rhianna Worsell, animal keeper, said: "Both mum, Canela, and her calf are doing really well. The calf has been seen up and about exploring its enclosure with Canela following close behind. Canela has been very attentive towards her calf.

"The gender is currently unknown as we will leave them together to bond without any disturbance from us."

In the wild, mountain bongos are found in four distinct areas of Kenya where they live in forests and highlands. It's thought there are fewer than 100 of these animals left in the wild, and as populations continue to decline, the importance of captive mountain bongo breeding programmes has never been greater.

Mountain bongos prefer areas with tall shrubs such as forest edges and areas where the forest has been disturbed, causing new growth. Calves are often left hidden in vegetation after birth to conceal them from predators. Mothers will return for them to suckle.

The species faces a number of threats, including hunting with dogs and loss of habitat as well as the risk of diseases from domestic cattle.