Image: © Nashville Zoo

Bouncing Baby Bontebok Debuts at Nashville Zoo


Cale Russell


August 4, 2023 12:21 pm


Nashville, Tennessee, The United States

Nashville Zoo have introduced their one month old bontebok calf, Shiner as he made his exhibit debut this week. Parents, Eclair and Ibunzi celebrated the birth of their second calf on July 3rd 2023.

Shiner came as an exciting surprise for keepers returning from their lunch break. During a check of the herd they found the calf curled up in a corner of the stall. Typically a bontebok will give birth at dawn when the risk of predation is reduced.

Nashville Zoo hoofstock keeper Morgan Fontenot said, "Eclair is a pro mom, and we watched from afar as she nursed and cared for her baby without needing any assistance." 

This marks the third successful birth of a bontebok at Nashville Zoo since 2017. At present the zoo's herd is made up of Shiner, Eclair and Ibunzi. They live within the mixed species, African Field exhibit at the zoo.

Once Shiner is old enough he will be moved to another zoo where he can be paired with another bontebok. This is part of the zoo's participation in the bontebok breeding program alongside other AZA-accredited facilities. Through this program the zoos are creating a genetically diverse reserve population of this species.

Bontebok are found in the grasslands of South Africa. This is a medium sized antelope with elegant spiralling horns. Bontebok feed during dawn and dusk then rest during the day.

Bontebok Calf at Nashville Zoo

A one-month old bontebok calf, Shiner is seen alongside mother Eclair at the Nashville Zoo in Tennessee. Image: © Nashville Zoo

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About the Author

Cale Russell

Cale has operated The Animal Facts since 2012. During this time he has volunteered and worked across a range of Australian Wildlife Parks something he continues to today. He holds a certificate in Animal Care and Husbandry.

Our Favourite Bontebok Fact!

The bontebok is a subspecies of the blesbok. They separated due to the development of a dry area known as the karoo which isolated the bontebok and allowed it to develop as a new subspecies.

Image: © Nashville Zoo

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