– It’s a girl!

BALTIMORE, MD – The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore is “fawning” over the newest animal addition – a baby blue duiker. The tiny calf was born on Tuesday, July 30, to two-year-old mom Flower and six-year-old dad Lucky.

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 calf weighed 13 ounces at birth, about the same weight as a coffee mug. “Flower and the baby are housed behind-the-scenes in our Africa Barn,” said Erin Cantwell, mammal collection and conservation manager. “The baby is nursing well and gaining weight, and Flower is very protective and patient.”

The birth was 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.

Lucky, the calf’s father, can be found in the African Aviary.

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