Kirk’s Dik-dik (Madoqua kirkii)
Great place to see it: Kenya:
Found in the bushlands, shrublands and savannahs of Africa, this small antelope is named ‘dik-dik’ for the alarm call (made by the female), which may alert even the other animals to predators in their vicinity. Its dusty-brown fur helps as camouflage, its hues always in consonance with its surroundings.
While the female dik-dik is larger than the male, the male can make you go ‘awww’ with this adorable little horn that’s most of the time partially concealed by the hair on the crown, an uptight tuft. The black spot at the inside corner of its eyes contains sticky secretion, the preorbital gland, giving the dik-dik’s countenance more loveliness it can already enchant you with. It is known to insert twigs and grass-stems into this gland while scent-marking its territory. This herbivorous antelope draws water from its food – mostly shoots, fruit, berries and foliage – and this is believed to make drinking unnecessary. While you might be tempted to go near this thing of cuteness and cuddling if and giving peck on its tapered head, you might also want to know that this very feature helps them feed on the leaves between the acacia tree-spines and simultaneously watch out for predators.
Dik-dik is monogamous, and the pairs spend about 64% of their time together. The territorial conflicts between two dik-diks are very rare, and this pacifist antelope is hence our Animal of the Week!