Mountain Bongo Antelope
Mountain Bongo Antelope

Tragelaphus eurycerus isaaci

Mountain Bongo Antelope
Mountain Bongo Antelope

Tragelaphus eurycerus isaaci

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Mountain Bongo Antelope Recovery Program, Kenya

 

This program aims to expand and manage in situ and ext situ Mountain Bongo populations (Tragelaphus eurycerus isaaci) for repatriation, translocation, and eventual reintroduction into native bongo habitat. Ultimately these efforts compliment and help restore wild bongo populations throughout the Aberdares, Mau, Eburu and Mt. Kenya.

 

On January 29, 2004, at 8:00 p.m., an Air Transport International DC-8 freighter touched down in Nairobi carrying 18 captive-bred mountain bongo antelope and two tons of antelope feed, consummating RSCF's 10-year campaign to repatriate bongo from the U.S. to Kenya. 

 

2021 - Fast-forward 16 years and the program enters its second phase with the creation of the The Meru Bongo & Rhino Conservation Trust. Formally established in April 2021, the project is a broad collaboration between the Meru County Government, Kenya Wildlife Service, Kenya Forest Service, Mt. Kenya Trust, Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, Rare Species Conservatory Foundation, and the Tropical Conservation Institute at Florida International University

 

The founder bongo group - currently being bred in semi-wild conditions at the Rare Species Conservatory Foundation in Florida- will be translocated to Marania and Muchiene forests in Mt. Kenya Forest Reserve.

The Mountain Bongo Repatriation Project represents a rare milestone in wildlife conservation, aiming to restore a critically endangered flagship species to self-sustaining levels in the wild from captive U.S. stock. The repatriated bongos are founders for a long-term breeding effort, with animals sent from the U.S. to Africa held in breeding groups gradually acclimated to the wild over future generations. Ultimately, the program seeks to restore a sustainable wild population within the Mt. Kenya World Heritage Site via close coordination with our program partners including Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, The Bongo Surveillance Project, Rhino Ark Charitable Trust, and the Kenya Wildlife Service. CLICK HERE for the Bongo/Rhino Project Summary.
 

Dr. Matthew Mutinda, KWS veterinarian
Dr. Mutinda and RSCF staff

When Passion Meets Purpose

Kenya Wildlife Service veterinarian Dr. Matthew Mutinda recently traveled to RSCF from Kenya. During his three-week immersive visit Dr. Mutinda worked hands-on every day with RSCF staff managing our Mountain Bongo breeding groups. Dr. Mutinda is based at Lewa Wildlife Conservancy and will be instrumental we move forward with plans to return bongo from RSCF to Africa. 

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