Pretty Much the Cutest Little Animal Ever: Dik-Dik Mini Antelopes

By Ingrid Longauerová, Epoch Times
December 4, 2013 Updated: February 11, 2016    

England’s Chester Zoo is home to two outcast Kirk’s Dik-diks. Dik-diks are one of the smallest antelope species in the world.

A tiny Dik-dik is just 8 inches (22 centimeters) tall, weighing little more than a bag of sugar. Neo, a newly born Dik-dik at Chester Zoo, weighed 1.6 pounds (750 grams) at birth. 

Neo and his older sister, Aluna, were both rejected by their mother. But Aluna has taken to her little brother and the two have forged a bond. 

“Dik-dik mothers do not always take to their young and unfortunately Neo and his mom didn’t quite hit it off,” explained keeper Claire McPhee in a press release. “But happily his not-so-big sister Aluna—who herself didn’t manage to bond with her mom—is drawing on her own experiences.”

Only two months old, Neo is now a little bit shy, nervous, and jumpy around other Dik-diks. As his name, meaning “gift” in Swahili, suggests, he is seen as an uplifting present for the zoo.

Dik-diks are native to Kenya, Tanzania, and Namibia, preferring a variety of habitats such as woodlands or grasslands. The name Dik-dik was given to them because of the sound they make when fleeing danger. They can live for up to 10 years and reach a maximum size of just 1.3 feet tall.

Neo the Dik-Dik miniature antelope
Neo the Dik-Dik miniature antelope

The Dik-diks family. (Chester Zoo)
The Dik-diks family. (Chester Zoo)

Neo the Dik-dik at Chester Zoo. (Chester Zoo)

Neo the Dik-dik. (Chester Zoo)
Neo the Dik-dik. (Chester Zoo)

Neo with his older sister Aluna. (Chester Zoo)
Neo with his older sister Aluna. (Chester Zoo)