“Till death do us part”, is a promise that seem to be a tall order as years go by if statistics are anything to go by. The amount of sacrifice that is needed to keep the promise seems hard as life goes by.
Not for the Dik-Diks though. These small antelopes, not the smallest though, have a very simple yet interesting way of life and interaction with their family.
Normally, antelope family walk in large groups. Majorly for protection, even though the female to male ratio is a little big. The stronger the male, the more the females. The way of the wild is more of conquest between males. Most animals in the have to mark their territory in some way, before that, they have to fight for that territory. For the Dik-diks, however, the way of the wild is love as opposed to conquest, encouragement over battle and explore over war.
Their gestation period is 169-174 days which is roughly 6 months. Mark you, an adult Dik-dik is the height of 16 inches at most with the weight of 15 pounds at most. Which makes them probably smaller than a dog. No, don’t take them for pets though, they are a rare breed. Much respect to them
Remember, the way of Dik-diks is encouragement over battle? Most wild animals chase away their young ones once they become adults as they are seen as competition for territory. Even here at Giraffe Center, Eddie is already having trouble with Jock (VI) (Betty’s Male Calf) and Olerai (Kelly’s Male Calf) yet they are not yet Adults. For Dik-diks, once they are adults, which is 7 months after birth, the Male Dik-Dik “sends away” the “Adult” Dik-dik out of their territory to go start a new home.
Dik-diks stay as couples. They stay together till death do part them. The male dik-dik send away the male young one as also the female dik dik sends away the female young one.
As to the remaining pair, they stay together, have other young ones. If by bad luck, one of them dies due to any circumstance, the remaining one becomes suicidal. The remaining one can even surrender to a predator due to loneliness. Crazy I know.
They use their tears and to mark their territory. Urine and feces work too.
For some reason, some people use their skin to make gloves, hence their biggest threat are humans.
Well, what if we just leave them alone, they would be walking around Lake Nakuru National park giving us great examples of being in love. But no, we had to make gloves out of them, shame on us. Did you know that one Dik-dik can only make one pair of gloves. Think about it.