Eastern bongo joins the zoo family

Bongo ‘Maja’ is welcomed to the zoo family with an impressive new enclosure

Did you know that the Eastern bongo is among the rarest animals in the world, with fewer than 150 left in the wild? This makes the arrival of Maja, a beautiful four year old Eastern bongo who arrived at the zoo last month, even more special.

Maja the Bongo

The Eastern Bongo’s endangered status is mainly due to deforestation and poaching, as it is targeted for its sought-after chestnut red and white coats in its African homeland.

More bongo are expected to join Maja soon, in the brand new specially built enclosure which also features a walk through visitor gallery so guests can view the animals even if they choose to venture inside their house that they share with a group of dwarf mongoose.

Lynsey Brenchley, our head keeper said:

“I’m really looking forward to getting to know Maja, and welcoming her to the family at Folly Farm. Bongos are usually quite shy animals, but so far she’s been settling in very well”.

We’re keen supporters of several conservation charities including the Bongo Surveillance Project which helps to ensure the future of this amazing species.

Outside the bongo house

But that’s not all – our Bactrian camels and long term residents, James and Genghis, have also received an upgrade to their enclosure, with a brand new house build right next door to Maja. We’re sure they’ll be great neighbours!

The new development is part of our commitment to develop our existing enclosures and we hope our guests enjoy this new area.

Lynsey said:

“James and Genghis are real characters, and have quite an appetite! They eat around 3kg of special camel pellets every day, as well as alfalfa, hay and loads of leaves and bark from cut pieces of tree”.

Bactrian camel
“The camels’ native homes in Mongolia and China can reach up to 40 degrees in the summer, but nearly -30 degrees in the winter, so they have a thick shaggy coat to protect them in winter, which falls away in the summer when the temperature rises. Our boys look particularly hilarious and scruffy as they start to lose their coats in dribs and drabs when we come into spring”.
Zoo Membership

We're proud to be members of the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) and the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA). Our membership means we share knowledge with leading zoos across the UK and Europe, and we learn from them too.