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Kirk’s dik-dik

Madoqua kirkii

PZ Dik Dik 09 21 ONB LR 4
IUCN Conservation Status –
Least Concern
Extinct In The Wild
Class: Mammal
Order: Cetartiodactyla
Family: Bovidae

Paignton Zoo is home to four Kirk’s dik-dik, including parents Derek and Eclair and their two calves. They live just down from Baboon Rock.

Dik-diks are small antelopes native to the shrublands and savannahs of northeast Africa.

They are herbivores and eat a diet of mostly leaves, shoots and fruit.

Interesting facts!

  • A fully grown dik-dik stands about 40cm tall and weighs around 5kg. This makes it bigger than a domestic cat but smaller than most breeds of dog!
  • They don’t waste a single drop of water. Because they come from very dry environments, Kirk’s dik-dik conserve as much of the water they drink as possible. They are thought to produce the driest poo and most concentrated wee of any hoofed animal!
  • Dik-diks cry to let others know where they live. Well… kind of! They have a gland under each eye that secretes a dark, sticky fluid, which they use to scent mark their territory.

Conservation

Our Kirk’s dik-dik are part of a European Studbook which aims to ensure that the captive population in European zoos is fit and healthy. Thankfully, wild dik-dik are not considered threatened at the moment, but in a rapidly changing world this situation could easily change.