Bucky

This sweet-natured sitatunga was described as being “10% wild animal, 90% house pet.”
  • 1940s
  • 1950s

Antelope are skittish creatures by nature. But someone forgot to tell Bucky, the Zoo’s first sitatunga, who arrived from the Brookfield Zoo in 1947. Hand raised by a Brookfield staff member after being neglected by his mother, Bucky was friendly and, by all accounts, puppy-like. Visitors to his exhibit needed only to call his name—“Bucky!”—and a slender, fuzzy face would peek around the door of his barn.

Apparently not all of his instincts were gone, however, as was reported in an issue of ZOONOOZ: he approached visitors slowly, “as though the natural timidity of his kind has temporarily overcome his own normally amicable relations with Man.” Once at the fence, Bucky would nuzzle his nose into the hand of his admirer. If given the opportunity, he would “affectionately nibble an ear. “

Hormones being what they are, Bucky got a little bratty as he got older, especially if he didn’t receive the attention he wanted. So a female sitatunga named Nakong was brought to the Zoo in 1951 to be his mate and keep him happy with a new kind of attention.

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