BALTIMORE, MD – The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore is pleased to announce the birth of a female blue duiker (DIKE-er) named Marigold. She was born on July 24th to Flower (female) and Kuruka (male).
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). The SSP provides 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.
“Marigold is healthy and gaining weight as she bonds with her mother in the barn,” said Erin Grimm, Curator of Mammals at the Maryland Zoo. “We’ve had good success breeding blue duikers. This is the third calf from our female, Flower, and the first for our male, Kuruka.
Blue duikers are small. Adults are about the same size as a housecat. Marigold currently weighs about 700 grams, which is roughly one and a half pounds.
Marigold could run within hours of birth but, as with most duiker calves, won’t roam freely for the first several weeks of life. In the wild, the calves stay hidden in the underbrush and wait for their mothers to come nurse them. They are weaned by 3 months of age and reach full size at about 6 months. Without too much prompting from their parents, calves will leave their home territories between the ages of 1 and 2 years, upon reaching sexual maturity.
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 because the animals will duck 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.