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Kenya has released the first group of mountain bongos into a sanctuary to save the rare forest antelopes from extinction in the wild.

The group of five mountain bongos, including two males, have been released to a sanctuary located near Mount Kenya.

Kenya is the last place where the species are still found in their native habitat. Fewer than 100 are thought to be in existence.

“Every subsequent year, an additional 10 mountain bongos will be trans-located into the sanctuary in groups of five every six months,” Tourism Minister Najib Balala said.

Those to be taken to the sanctuary will be selected from breeding herds and allowed to roam and mate randomly in the sanctuary.

Preparing the captive bongos for the wild has taken nearly 20 years.

It is estimated that by 2025 the sanctuary will have 50 to 70 fully rewilded mountain bongos, Mr Balala said.

Kenya hopes the population of the rare antelopes in the country will increase to 750 by the year 2050.

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