Bongo Calf Naming Contest

Potter Park Zoo welcomed a female bongo calf March 8. This is the first bongo birth at the zoo since 2014 and we hope you all have enjoyed watching the bongo family grow and bond this spring.

The calf’s parents, Maverick and Uzuri, were paired as part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP), which oversees only a handful of eastern bongo births each year. In total, approximately 300 eastern bongos reside in AZA accredited zoos across the nation. In the species’ remote mountain territory of central Kenya, populations are are rarer still. Only around 100 eastern bongo are thought to remain in the wild, and their ornate horns and striking orange coat make them an ongoing target for hunting and poaching.

Zoo fans are invited to vote for their favorite baby bongo name!

There are four name options to vote from!

  • Bahiti (this means lucky in Swahili)
  • Zahara (this means flower in Swahili)
  • Mable
  • Winnie




Make a special donation to the Potter Park Zoological Society with your vote. Every $5 donated counts as a vote toward the name of your choice (i.e., $10 equals 2 votes). All donations will support Potter Park Zoo and its mission of inspiring conservation of animals and the natural world. Vote here today!

The naming contest ends Friday, June 17 at 10 p.m. (EST) and the top name will be announced Monday, June 20. For any questions, please contact our development department at (517) 244-8042 or at