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Interesting Facts about the Bongo Antelope
The bongo is a large antelope who is bright chestnut to dark brown with vivid white-yellow markings and stripes and spiral horns.
Bongos are the largest forest antelope. They stand 4 1/2 ft tall and up to 10 1/2 ft long. Males are only slightly larger than females.
They live in Central Africa in the lowlands and in mountain forests.
Native people believe if they eat or touch bongo they will have spasms similar to epileptic seizures. Because of this superstition, bongos have been relatively unharmed in their native ranges.
Exact population counts are unknown because they are very secretive animals. It is difficult to study them in the wild. Most research about them comes from captive animals and studies at salt licks on the edge of forests.
They have been known to eat burned wood after lightning storms. This behavior is believed to be a means of getting salt or minerals.
Bongos are great high jumpers but prefer to go under or around obstacles.
Since these animals are so dependent on dense vegetation, habitat destruction is their greatest threat.
Bongos are prey to leopards and hyenas.
In order to quickly maneuver through the dense forest vegetation, bongos will tilt their head up, causing their horns to lie flat against their back. They take this position so frequently older bongos often have bald spots on their back from the tips of their horns rubbing away the fur.
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