Paignton Zoo’s Kirk’s dik-dik are a breeding pair called Derek and Eclair. 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.
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.
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.
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