News Release
 
Contact: Sondra Katzen, Public Relations, 708.688.8351, sondra.katzen@czs.org
 
November 4, 2021
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
NOTE: Download photos of the Kirk's dik-dik calf at end of press release.

 
Kirk’s Dik-dik Born at Brookfield Zoo
 

Brookfield, Ill. — A Kirk’s dik-dik, one of the world’s smallest antelopes, was born at Brookfield Zoo on October 13. At birth, the not-yet-named male calf weighed just over 1½ pounds. He is currently behind the scenes with his mother. To not disturb the bonding process between Buttons, the 2-year-old mom, and her offspring, animal care staff set up a GoPro camera to get video of the newest addition to share with the public. It can be viewed on the zoo’s social media channels.

Behind the scenes, there is a nest site, which is where a newborn dik-dik remains hidden for 10 to 20 days. It will nurse for about three to four months. Weaning is attained when the calf reaches a weight of about 4 pounds. Once full grown, the male can weigh up to 14 pounds and measure 14 to 16 inches tall at the shoulder.

This small antelope, native to Africa’s Kenya, Somalia, Tanzania, Angola, and Namibia, got its name from the sound it makes when threatened as well as after Sir John Kirk, a 19th century Scottish naturalist. Its coat varies in color from a yellowish-gray to reddish-brown. The species can be identified best by its large, striking, dark eyes that are each surrounded by a white ring. Only the males grow short corrugated horns.
The elongated snout allows a dik-dik to help keep cool by rapidly panting to cool the air, and therefore its body. This system also helps minimize its need for water.

The calf at Brookfield Zoo will not be making his public debut until spring 2022, but guests can see an adult pair in their outdoor habitat during regular zoo hours, weather permitting. Currently, there are 25 Kirk’s dik-diks at 11 accredited North American zoos, including five at Brookfield Zoo.

 
#      #      #
 
Photos (credit CZS-Brookfield Zoo)
57 and 83: A Kirk’s dik-dik, one of the world’s smallest antelopes, was born at Brookfield Zoo on October 13. (photo taken at 1 day old)

4109: A male Kirk’s dik-dik, with his mom, Buttons, at Brookfield Zoo. Currently, they are bonding behind the scenes (photo taken at 5 days old)


About the Chicago Zoological Society
The mission of the Chicago Zoological Society is to inspire conservation leadership by engaging people and communities with wildlife and nature. The Chicago Zoological Society is a private nonprofit organization that operates Brookfield Zoo on land owned by the Forest Preserves of Cook County. The Society is known throughout the world for its international role in animal population management and wildlife conservation. Its Center for the Science of Animal Care and Welfare is at the forefront of animal care that strives to discover and implement innovative approaches to zoo animal management. Brookfield Zoo is the first zoo in the world to be awarded the Humane Certified™ certification mark for the care and welfare of its animals, meeting American Humane Association’s rigorous certification standards. The zoo is located at 8400 31st Street in Brookfield, Illinois, between the Stevenson (I-55) and Eisenhower (I-290) expressways and also is accessible via the Tri-State Tollway (I-294), Metra commuter line, and CTA and PACE bus service. For further information, visit CZS.org.
 

MEDIA CONTACT:

Sondra Katzen
Media Relations Manager
Office: 708-688-8351
Cell Phone: 708-903-2071
E-mail: Sondra.Katzen@CZS.org

Membership

Center for the Science of Animal Welfare

Read about our innovative practices in animal welfare to ensure the ultimate care of our individual animals.

Classes and Camps

Center for Conservation Leadership

We place a high priority on developing and supporting conservation leaders of all ages and backgrounds.

Membership

Visit Brookfield Zoo

Create extraordinary connections with animals and nature!

Animal Welfare

You Can Help!

Become our partner in caring for animals and in connecting people with wildlife and nature.