BALTIMORE, MD — The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore is happy to announce the addition of a new blue duiker (die-ker) to the African Aviary habitat in the African Journey area of the Zoo.
One-year-old female, Flower, was born at the NEW (Northeastern Wisconsin) Zoo & Adventure Park in Green Bay, and came to the Maryland Zoo in October 2017. She wintered behind-the-scenes and has been paired with Lucky, the Zoo’s five-year-old male, which has been at the Maryland Zoo since 2014.
Blue duiker (Philantomba monticola) is a species of antelope found in the forests of western, southern and eastern Africa. They weigh seven to 20 pounds. While they are currently not classified as threatened or endangered, their population is affected by over-hunting and loss of habitat. The duiker gets its name from the Afrikaans word ‘duiker’ which means to dive, which relates to the animal’s habit of ducking away into bushes when danger threatens.
The pairing of the two duikers is a result of a breeding recommendation from the Blue Duiker Species Survival Plan (SSP) coordinated by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). SSPs provide breeding recommendations to maximize genetic diversity, with the goal of ensuring health of the individual animal, as well as the long-term survival of the species population to help save animals from extinction.