The months of February and March are traditionally the time of the year when Zoo Wroclaw welcomes new Dik-dik offspring. True to fashion, new mom, Lenonka, welcomed a female calf on February 26.
According to the Zoo’s tradition, newborns are given a music related name.
Because of their shared characteristic of blonde hair, the new Dik-dik is being called “Lady G” (a nod to Lady Gaga).
Zoo management has allowed the keepers a bit of creativity with the selection of names for the new births. As a result, Zoo Wroclaw is proud to relate that they are home to Elvis, Eminem, Lennon, Limahl, Loreen, and now Lady G!
Kirk’s Dik-diks have made their home at Zoo Wroclaw since 2014. The Zoo’s most known member of the herd is Lady G’s father, Federiko. Keepers state he is almost always in a location within the exhibit that is visible to the public, as if he is guarding the rest of the herd.
Kirk’s Dik-dik (Madoqua kirkii) is a small antelope native to Eastern Africa and one of four species of Dik-dik antelope. Dik-diks are herbivores and are typically of a fawn color that aids in camouflaging in savannah habitats.
The unique name is derived from its call. When threatened, Dik-diks lay low. If discovered, they run in a swift zigzag until finding another safe hiding spot. During this time, they are known to emit a call that sounds like “zik-zik” and is intended to raise an alarm.
The lifespan of Kirk’s Dik-dik in the wild is typically 5 to 10 years. In captivity, males have been known to live up to 16 to 18 years.
The species is currently classified as “Least Concern” on the IUCN Red List. They have many natural enemies in the wild: leopards, cheetahs, jackals, baboons, eagles, and pythons.
However, the biggest threat awaits them from the human side. Not only are they hunted for use of their meat and bone, but they are also hunted for the production of leather. It has been said that at least two individual Dik-diks must be slaughtered to produce as little as one pair of leather gloves.