Come and meet Croissant! and Streusel!
The Kirk’s dik-dik are one of the smallest antelopes in the world. Croissant and Streusel were named by keepers after the delicacies of the countries thery previously lived in before coming to Wild Place Project.
Dik-diks eyes, which are surprisingly large in relation to their small size, provide more than just sight. Preorbital glands appear as a black spot below the inside corner of each eye, and these glands produce a dark, sticky secretion used to scent-mark their territories.
Dik-diks have also evolved a cooling mechanism within their snouts that stops them from overheating, even in extreme temperatures of up to 37°C. This also helps reduce their need for water.
Kirk’s dik-diks come from eastern and southern Africa and the unusual name for the species is derived from their call.
If they are discovered by a predator they run in swift, zigzag like patterns until they reach safety. During this flight they make trumpet-like ‘zik-zik’ calls to raise an alarm or harass predators and publicise the presence of a mated pair.
When fully-grown dik-diks grow to an average height of 40cm and usually weigh between 4-5kg.
The species is not currently close to meeting any threshold for threatened status. It remains widespread and locally common throughout much of its historical distribution, and is present in a number of protected areas.
Come and visit our busy colony of village weavers living with the dik diks. During the breeding season they can be seen busy collecting blades of grass and building complex nests which hang from the smallest branch. The males build the nests to impress the female as part of their courtship. They enjoy eating many different fruits, seeds and insects.