Tiny Orphaned Dik-dik Hand-reared at Chester Zoo

Keepers step in to hand-rear orphaned baby dik dik antelope at Chester Zoo (17)
A tiny Dik-dik is making a big impression at Chester Zoo. The little Antelope is being cared for by zoo staff after its mother passed away soon after giving birth.

Standing only about 8 inches tall at the shoulders, the tiny Kirk’s Dik-dik is being bottle fed by staff five times a day. He will continue to receive a helping hand until he is old enough to eat by himself. 

Keepers step in to hand-rear orphaned baby dik dik antelope at Chester Zoo (19)
Keepers step in to hand-rear orphaned baby dik dik antelope at Chester Zoo (3)Photo Credit:  Chester Zoo



Assistant team manager Kim Wood and keeper Barbara Dreyer have both been caring for the new arrival, who is currently so light he doesn’t register a weight on the zoo’s set of antelope scales.

Kim said, “The youngster is beginning to find his feet now and is really starting to hold his own. We’re hopeful that, in a few months’ time, we’ll be able to introduce him to some of the other members of our group of Dik-diks.  He may be tiny but he is certainly making a big impression on everyone at the zoo.”   

Kirk’s Dik-diks grow to a maximum size of just 16 inches tall at the shoulders, making them one of the smallest species of Antelope in the world.

The species takes its name from Sir John Kirk, a 19th century Scottish naturalist, as well as the alarm calls made by female Dik-diks.  

Kirk’s Dik-diks are native to northeastern Africa and conservationists say they mark their territory with fluid from glands between their toes and just under their eyes, not dissimilar to tears. Populations in the wild are stable.

Keepers step in to hand-rear orphaned baby dik dik antelope at Chester Zoo (1)
Keepers step in to hand-rear orphaned baby dik dik antelope at Chester Zoo (2)
Keepers step in to hand-rear orphaned baby dik dik antelope at Chester Zoo (4)
Keepers step in to hand-rear orphaned baby dik dik antelope at Chester Zoo (5)
Keepers step in to hand-rear orphaned baby dik dik antelope at Chester Zoo (6)
Keepers step in to hand-rear orphaned baby dik dik antelope at Chester Zoo (7)
Keepers step in to hand-rear orphaned baby dik dik antelope at Chester Zoo (9)
Keepers step in to hand-rear orphaned baby dik dik antelope at Chester Zoo (11)
Keepers step in to hand-rear orphaned baby dik dik antelope at Chester Zoo (12)
Keepers step in to hand-rear orphaned baby dik dik antelope at Chester Zoo (14)
Keepers step in to hand-rear orphaned baby dik dik antelope at Chester Zoo (15)
Keepers step in to hand-rear orphaned baby dik dik antelope at Chester Zoo (18)

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