Saturday, May 30, 2009

Oldest Male Bongo Antelope In North America Passes At Zoo Atlanta

Zoo Atlanta President and CEO Dennis Kelly announced earlier this week that Bingo, a male eastern bongo antelope, was euthanized on Sunday, May 24. At 17, Bingo was the oldest male bongo living in an Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) accredited institution. He was also the fourth oldest bongo in captivity worldwide. Zoo Atlanta’s Animal Management and Veterinary Team based the decision to euthanize Bingo after his health began to decline suddenly on Saturday. Born May 5, 1992 at Miami Metrozoo, Bingo had lived at Zoo Atlanta since 2002.

“We are saddened by the passing of Bingo, who was a special part of the Zoo Atlanta family and an important representative of this endangered species,” said Kelly. “The fact that he was one of the world’s oldest bongos is evidence of the superior care he received throughout his life.”

A necropsy was performed at the University of Georgia through Zoo Atlanta’s partnership with the Department of Pathology in the College of Veterinary Medicine, and results will be available in several weeks.

Eastern bongos are among the Zoo’s most endangered mammals, with fewer than 500 believed to remain in the wild. Zoo Atlanta participates in AZA’s Bongo Species Survival Plan, which seeks to maintain a self-sustaining, genetically diverse population within North American zoos and has reintroduced bongos to eastern Africa.

Zoo Atlanta’s female eastern bongo, Mzima, 19, is the oldest bongo living in an AZA institution and the second oldest of her species in captivity in the world.

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