April 13, 2012
With her rusty-orange coat and "sweet" nature, Taronga Zoo's latest addition was perfectly matched to her new name Kiazi - which means sweet potato in Swahili.
The zoo today showed off its latest addition - a rare baby bongo calf.
"She is very cute and I'm sure she will be a great drawcard," said Renae Moss, the superviser of the zoo's Ungulate Unit.
"They are easy to breed in zoos so I guess if it wasn't for zoos, there's a good chance we would probably lose the eastern bongo off the planet."
Kiazi was born on April 2 as part of a conservation breeding program.
The newborn shares an exhibit with first-time mother Djembe, also born at the zoo, and grandmother Nambala, giving visitors the chance to see three generations of eastern bongos - a critically endangered species.
Kiazi has a red-brown hide with white stripes on the shoulders and back, with a white tail.
Speaking at Taronga Zoo this morning, Ms Moss said Kiazi was the fourth bongo calf to be born at the zoo.
There are as few as 75 eastern bongos remaining in the wild, making her birth particularly exciting.
"There's more of the eastern bongo in captivity than there are in the wild," Ms Moss said.
"They're facing the threats of poaching, being trapped in snares and human encroachment."
Taronga's eastern bongos are part of a conservation breeding program managed across the Australasian region to protect the species from extinction.
As part of this program, Melbourne Zoo also welcomed the arrival of a male calf in March, to parents that originally came from Taronga Zoo.