Bongo International Studbook

The Bongo International Studbook provides the data for decision-making about breeding recommendations and maximising genetic diversity within the captive population. Both AZA's Bongo SSP Coordinator Ron Surratt and EAZA's Bongo EEP Coordinator Jake Veasey depend upon the accurate and complete recording of bongo pedigrees in the studbook to make decisions about which bongo should be paired for breeding. Bongos are moved from zoo to zoo – and from country to country – as necessary to comply with these decisions.


Details recorded in the studbook pertaining to bongo health are often requested by veterinarians or curators from various collections, and with the information gathered from bongo holders regarding a particular problem with newborn calves splaying, the studbook keeper was able to present findings and recommendations to help resolve the problem. The studbook keeper also frequently gets questions about husbandry, diet and so on, and with the information collected in the studbook is usually able to find answers and solutions used by other collections.


The necessity for having a healthy gene pool has recently come into sharp focus as zoo-bred bongos have been returned to Kenya with the intention of contributing to and enhancing the genetics of the wild population remaining there. Further analysis of relationships among wild and captive bongos are currently being done via mitochondrial DNA sampling, with a determined effort headed by the Bongo Surveillance Project and Rhino Ark to track, and collect samples from, as many individuals as possible.


This effort is in need of financial support and by spreading the word to all bongo holders worldwide via the international studbook, the hope on the part of the studbook keeper is that contributions will be encouraged by the dissemination of these important news.


Lydia Bosley, Bongo International Studbook Keeper

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  • Bongo International Studbook

    Bongo International Studbook

    (1) - (2) © Paul Reillo