bongo bŏng´gō [key], spiral-horned antelope, Tragelaphus eurycerus, found in jungles and thick bamboo forests of equatorial Africa. Shy, elusive animals, bongos never emerge into the open and are seldom seen; they browse singly or in small groups. Related to the kudus and bushbucks, they are fairly large, heavy-bodied antelopes, with males standing 4 ft (120 cm) at the shoulder. Both sexes have horns; in the male these are up to 3 ft (90 cm) long. The body is rich chestnut brown with narrow white stripes running across the back and down the sides, a pattern that provides excellent camouflage in dense thickets. There are western, or lowland, and eastern, or mountain, subspecies; the latter is found only in Kenya. Bongos have been much prized as trophies by big-game hunters. They are classified in the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Mammalia, order Artiodactyla, family Bovidae.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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