August 10, 2012

CONTACT: Kyle Shepherd

(Media Cell for press inquiries only: 502-744-5639)



Zoo Guests to Vote on Bongo Names

Contest presented by Floyd Memorial Birthing Center

Nearly 1000 sets of names (that is 3000 names) were submitted in the Zoo’s Bongo Calf naming contest presented by Floyd Memorial Birthing Center.  Participants were asked to submit one male and two female names for the three bongos that were born at the Zoo in May.

The zookeepers who care for the bongos narrowed the bongo names down to three sets of entries:

Kibo, Mawenzi and Shira – Africa’s highest mountain, Kilimanjaro, is made up of three extinct volcanoes, Kibo, Mawenzi, and Shira.

Sharif, Ajia, Khola – All of these are Swahili names  - Sharif (means noble); Ajia (means quick/fast) and Khola (means gentle antelope) 

Romeo, Kimmy, Keisha

Zoo visitors now have the final vote. Today through Sunday, August 19, 2012 guests are invited to vote for their favorite name by means of a kiosk placed on the Zoo’s front plaza. Votes can be placed by making a contribution via coins or bills into the slot representing their favorite name. The name with the highest total donations will be declared the winner and announced the week of August 27. All proceeds support the Zoo’s efforts to provide excellent care for animals, a great experience for our guests and a better future for all living things.

The grand prize winner will receive a prize package valued over $350. It includes a Behind-the-scenes tour and rare bonding session with the bongos plus the same prize package gifted to the two alternate finalists.  The alternate prize package is valued at $150 and features four Zoo Adventure Tickets, a plush animal and other items from the gift shop, a children’s sing-a-long book and a commemorative DVD documenting our rescued polar bear cub, Qannik’s  first year of life and journey to Louisville.


A male Bongo calf (52 lbs) was born in May to mother, Isabella, and two females calves (37 and 44 lbs respectively) were also born in May, one each to mothers Nailah and Kaya.  Bongo Watson fathered all three calves. Bongos are the largest of the forest antelopes, and are considered by many to be the most beautiful. In addition to the deep chestnut color of their coats, bongos have bright white stripes on their sides to help camouflage them from their enemies. The bongos are on exhibit daily weather permitting.

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The Louisville Zoo, a non-profit organization and state zoo of Kentucky, is dedicated to bettering the bond between people and our planet by providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for visitors, and leadership in scientific research and conservation education. The Zoo is accredited by the American Association of Museums (AAM) and by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA.