Kirk's Dik-dik (Madoqua kirki
) - and -
Guenther's Dik-dik (Madoqua guentheri
Dik-dik are the second smallest Antelope in the world, standing an average of 14" (34cm) at the shoulder, with a total length of 26" (66cm). They weigh an average of 10lbs (4.6kg). Kirk's Dik-dik
has an elongated and very mobile snout, behind which, it has a distinctive white ring of short hairs, encircling the eyes. Its head has an erect 'crest' of brownish hairs. Only the rams have short, ringed horns. Its upperparts are dull yellow, flecked with grey. Its neck is the same colours, but paler. Its underparts are off-white. Its fore-legs and lower rear legs are a brownish-yellow. Guenther's Dik-dik
has an even longer proboscis snout than Kirk's Dik-dik. It too, (often) has a white ring around its eye, but is not joined at the top. There is no 'crown' of erect hairs, like Kirk's Dik-dik. Only rams have horns. Its upperparts and neck are pale red, to yellow-fawn and flecked with grey. Its head is a deeper red. Its underparts are off-white. Its fore-legs and lower rear legs are from red to brown. Resident
Kirk's Dik-dik are found in Tsavo, Mara GR, Samburu and Meru.
Guenther's Dik-dik are found in Tsavo, Samburu, Lake Bogoria NP, Marsabit and Turkana. Longevity
Dik-dik mate for life. After a gestation period of 24 - 25 weeks, a single fawn is born, weighing up to 27oz (760gm). Both the ram and the ewe care for the fawn. Dik-dik live for approximately 5 years in the wild. Predators
The Dik-dik's biggest predator is probably the Leopard
. Both like the cover of forested areas and Leopard drop down off trees, ambushing these small Antelope. However, Hyena
, Caracal, Eagles and Pythons are all predators. Behaviour
Dik-dik are very territorial animals and mark out their territories with dung middens, around a foot in diameter. They scratch at previous deposits, then defecate and urinate on the same spot. They also have a gland in front of their eye, holding a secretion they spread on branches around the perimeter of their territory. Usually seen in pairs. A single Dik-dik indicates a lost partner and three indicates a juvenile. Juveniles are 'kicked out' when the ewe comes back into oestrus.
Dik-dik are extremely shy animals and live in forested areas for protection. Although they are very quick on their feet, too. I have witnessed a Dik-dik out-manoeuvre a Cheetah that was hot on its heels. Diet
Dik-dik are browsers, eating mainly leaves, fruit, flowers and seed-pods. On occasion, if the grass is to their liking, they will eat small amounts. In times of drought, they will dig for roots and bulbs. Dik-dik can easily exist without drinking water and can be found in quite arid places, providing there are leaves to eat. Other Dik-dik Facts
Dik-dik whistle through their noses, making a sound "zik ~ zik", which is presumably how they got their name. Photographs
Images taken in Kenya's Olare Orok Conservancy.