Zoo Saddened by Loss of Bongo

The Sacramento Zoo is saddened by the death of the Eastern bongo, “Scotty.” At 17 years old, he was the second oldest male Eastern bongo in the U.S. Animal keepers arrived Sunday morning to find Scotty unresponsive and unable to stand. Veterinary staff had recently been treating Scotty for age-related illnesses. However, upon evaluation by veterinary staff, the decision was made to humanely euthanize him.

“Even when an animal is aged, the loss is still painful for those that worked closely with them,” Zoo Curator Harrison Edell said, “We did not want Scotty to suffer.”

A gentle giant, Scotty was born at the Los Angeles Zoo in July 1993, and came to Sacramento in 1994. Scotty sired six calves at Sacramento Zoo, one of whom (“Binti,” born in 2001) was sent to Kenya as part of a reintroduction program for this critically endangered species. Scotty will be missed by Zoo staff and visitors.

The Eastern bongo is a large, African forest antelope found in Kenya with a beautiful chestnut colored body, white body stripes, banded legs, large ears and two spiral horns. They mostly live in isolated populations in montane forests. The bongo’s natural range has been drastically reduced over the past few decades. The largest threat to this species is the loss of habitat caused by growing civilization.

The Sacramento Zoo works to increase awareness of conservation issues that affect the Eastern bongo and other large animals in African habitats.

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