I arrived early at the Bioparc today and was surprised to find that many of the animals were kept indoors until around midday. There was no sign of the chimpanzees, gorillas, elephants and giraffes and I can only put this down to the weather being quite cold by Valencian standards, around 8ºC. I was, however treated to a glimpse of the new baby to arrive, that of the Eastern Bongo (Tragelaphus eurycerus isaaci). I have to admit to bypassing this animal on most of my visits, largely due to the fact that it is next to the Panthers who always grab my attention.
The Eastern Bongo, also called Mountain Bongo, is quite a magnificent animal with amazing horns and an intriguing stripped coat. It is only found in the wild in one remote region of central Kenya. The baby is only 2 weeks old, having been born on the 14th November, but as you can see from the photograph, is already quite large and walking confidently. At this stage I am not sure whether it is male or female. Sadly the Eastern Bongo is on the critically endangered list so this arrival makes welcome news. It is estimated that more Eastern Bongo live in captivity than in the wild, and in 2013 reports suggest that there are possibly only 100 Eastern Mountain Bongos left in the wild due to logging and poaching. The baby came out for a short while just after I arrived but soon went back inside and despite me staying for some considerable time, and returning later, it never reappeared.
Following this I went to visit some other Bioparc babies, the Lion cubs. The whole pride was out enjoying the sunshine, albeit still very cold. Mother and one of the babies came up to the lake directly in front of me for a drink and I was able to take several decent shots of them.
I had been asked to get some photos of the elephants to support a mammoth project detailing all the elephants in captivity, http://www.elefanten-fotolexikon.eu/index.php?seite=startseite . This I was more than happy to do and I spent some time photographing the two groups who were all devouring the grass and straw that had been provided for them. Unfortunately this meant most of the time they were not facing the camera but a few of my efforts were successful.
The Elephants are separated into two groups. In one pen are Kibo, the male with the big tusks (actually one and a half tusks) and two females Miri and Metzi. In the other pen are the remaining five females who often stand with their trunks over the door that separates the two groups.
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