Binghamton Zoo Animals
Species: Madoqua guntheri
HABITAT AND RANGE:
Gunther’s Dik-dik’s can be found in
Northern Uganda, eastwards through Kenya
and Ethiopia to Ogaden and Somalia. They
prefer semi-arid scrub, and also depend
on dense bushy area in which to hide.
These animals are one of the smallest
antelopes measuring about 28 inches in
length, plus a short tail. They measure
about 14 inches tall at the shoulder and
only weigh 8-10 pounds. Males have short
pointed horns and are slightly smaller
than the hornless females. Dik-diks have
large facial glands present and there is
a distinctive shock of hair spiked up on
the forehead, and their eyes are large.
The nose is greatly elongated and can be
turned in all directions. The back and
flanks are speckled gray, and the
forehead and nose are reddish while the
under parts are white. The narrow, long,
pointed hooves have very small
pseudo-claws, which are still visible.
Gunther’s Dik-diks are more active at
night, especially on moonlight nights.
They are exclusively monogamous and
closely associated. When startled they
dash off in a series of erratic, zigzag
leaps, uttering a call resembling
“zik-zik” or “dik-dik”. The pronounced
proboscis is an adaptation for cooling.
Venous blood is cooled by evaporation
from the mucous membrane into the nasal
cavity during normal breathing or under
greater heat stress from nasal panting.
Dik-diks have an arched-back profile,
giving them a crouching appearance. This
body shape is well suited for life in
the dense cover of their habitats.
Females are larger than males. This is
because of the burden of having and
rearing the young. Only the males mark
with their preorbital glands. Pawing,
urinating, defecating, and marking in
male dik-diks has become so linked in a
sequence that right next to each pile of
feces a strongly marked grass or twig
can be found. The females use these
piles of feces too, but without pawing.
Sometimes the male will “demand” that
she does, then he will paw her feces
apart and then places his own excrements
on top of them.
The dik-dik will eat young leaves and
buds, fruit roots and tubers, fallen
leaves, and green grass. They are able
to survive on the moisture from the
vegetation they eat, and may go for long
periods without drinking.
REPRODUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT:
Births may occur at any time during the
year but are usually timed to take
advantage of new growth, lush vegetation
that comes up after rains. After a
gestation of 6 months, a single calf is
born. It generally lies out in the brush
for the first few weeks, with the mother
returning to feed. It is fully grown at
12 months, but may be sexually mature at
STATUS IN WILD:
Currently dik-diks are not under threat
but they are very vulnerable to habitat
alteration. Dik-diks are hunted
extensively in some areas and their
skins are used in the manufacture of
gloves. It takes two skins to make one
pair of gloves.