BALTIMORE, MD – The Maryland Zoo is happy to announce the arrival of a male duiker (dye-ker), Kuruka, from the Dallas Zoo. Kuruka (Coo-roo-ka) is 11-months-old and came to the Zoo to be paired with 4-year-old female duiker Flower, as recommended by the Blue Duiker Species Survival Plan (SSP.). After spending the required 30 days in quarantine, Kuruka was introduced to Flower and the African crowned cranes that share their habitat. The two species can be found along the African Journey boardwalk next to the warthogs.
“We are so excited to have Kuruka here at the Zoo,” said Erin Grimm, mammal collection and conservation manager. “He is a very active animal and has quickly assimilated to his new habitat. He and Flower are getting along well and we think guests will really enjoy learning about this tiny antelope species.” Flower has previously given birth to two offspring, one of which, LJ, currently lives among the birds in the African Aviary.
Blue duiker (Philantomba monticola) is a species of antelope found in the forests of western, southern and eastern Africa. 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. As adults, they can 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 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.