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Animals & Attractions

Kirk's Dik-Dik

We have three dik-dik's at Edinburgh Zoo at the moment, one male and one female and their offspring, that was born here in October 2015.

Location in the Zoo

They can be found in the African Aviary

Breeding Programme Category

The dik-diks are managed by the European Stud Book Programme.

Find out more

Status

Not Endangered NE
Data Deficient DD
Least Concern LC
Near Threatened NT
Vulnerable VU
Endangered EN
Critically Endangered CR
Extinct in the wild EW
Extinct EX

Least Concern

For more info on classifications visit www.iucnredist.org

Size

Relative to 6ft (2m) man Relative to 6ft (2m) man

Population

Population is stable, IUCN June 2008

  • Grasslands

    Grasslands

Diet

Herbivore Herbivore
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In The Wild

The Kirk’s dik-dik (Madoqua kirkii) is a small antelope that appears mainly in two separate regions of Africa: from southern Somalia to central Tanzania, and in northern Namibia and Angola. They occupy a wide variety of habitats, including dry scrublands, savannah woodlands and thickets, and grasslands.

Kirk’s dik-diks typically weigh up to 7 kg (15 lbs). They have a reddish-brown head, large eyes and ears, and a soft, brown coat that is grizzled with grey, black and white hairs. The eyes are ringed with white hair. Males have horns, but these can often be hidden by a spiky tuft of fur. Both sexes have an long snout which has blood vessels close to the skin which that allows any excess heat to be lost and lowering their body temperature.

They get their name from the ‘dik-dik’ call they make when startled. They will jump from their hiding place and move in a series of zig-zag leaps whilst making this call, aiming to confuse predators. They tend to form monogamous mating pairs. The female give birth to one offspring after a gestation period of about 5 – 6 months, and can have up to 2 offspring per year.

In the wild they eat a variety of leaves, buds, shoots, grasses and fruits. They are the prey of many carnivores, including lions and other big cats, hyenas, painted hunting dogs, ratels, and others. Large birds and reptiles will also prey on these small, slender antelopes.

Despite this and some disturbance in habitat due to farming expansions, their numbers remain strong in the wild. Their ability to exist in scrub and over-grazed areas has given them a measure of resilience that prevents their numbers from dropping too severely.