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World`s wild mountain antelopes face extinction

Last Updated: Saturday, July 31, 2010 - 15:16

Nairobi: Wildlife officials in Kenya has warned that an antelope species, whose entire global wild population of 103 exists only in the east African country, was on the verge of extinction.

Habitat loss, genetic factors, predation and disease were threatening to wipe out the mountain bongo (Tragelaphus eurycerus isaaci), the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) said in a statement.

The elusive mountain bongo is the largest mountain antelope and weighs up to 300 kilogrammes (660 pounds). It has white stripes against a chestnut brown hide and both males and females have twisted horns.

In Kenya, they are found in four forested mountains mainly in the country`s central regions.

"The mountain bongo is now the most threatened antelope in Kenya and possibly the most endangered large land mammal south of the Sahara," the statement said.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature lists the mountain bongo as critically endangered.

The KWS said the more than 500 mountain bongos in zoos across the world were originally from the Aberdares forest in central Kenya.

Bureau Report

First Published: Saturday, July 31, 2010 - 15:16

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