Visitors to Woburn Safari Park now have the chance to see a pair of extremely rare newborn twins in the African Jungle drive-through.
These critically endangered East African mountain bongo are struggling to survive in the wild, with only 80-100 now thought to remain. Twin births amongst this species are also incredibly rare, with only two other sets of Bongo twins having ever survived in zoos worldwide.
The precious pair of female calves were born to nine-year-old mum, Millie in the 14-acre woodland habitat of the reserve. Millie chose to quietly calve out in the reserve with the rest of the herd – an ideal environment for the newborns to clamber to their feet and see their new surroundings.
Woburn Safari Park keeper team leader, Chris Smart, said: “The arrival of these two new calves is not only fantastic news for the park, but also for the European Endangered Species Programme, as births of bongo calves last year were predominantly male. This means that our twins are vitally important to the EEP breeding programme.
“These calves are particularly beautiful; with so few left in the wild, they are extremely important for the conservation of the species. We’re keeping a close eye on them, making sure they are both feeding well from mum. They are already exploring their woodland home with the herd, exactly as they would do in the wild.”
The birth of the twins is another success story for the park, which is home to over 800 wild animals, including some of the most endangered animals in the world.