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Baby antelope is raised by Chester Zoo staff
4:16pm Tuesday 12th March 2013 in News
A TINY baby antelope is being reared by staff at Chester Zoo after she failed to bond with her mother.
Little Aluna, who is a Kirk’s dik-dik antelope, is no taller than a television remote control but is already making her mark at the zoo.
Keeper Tim Rowlands is playing ‘parent’ to the youngster by bottle-feeding her milk until she is old enough to tuck into a diet of buds, shoots and fruit on her own.
Tim said: “Our little one is growing stronger and stronger by the day and, all being well, it shouldn’t be too long until she‘ll be able to really hold her own. For the time being though her feed times are staggered through the day and she has her first bottle in my living room at home at 7am.
“I then pop her into the car and bring her to work where she has another three feeds in my office. Finally, her last one is at 10pm back at my house.
“She’s already pretty quick on her feet and gives us quite the run around in the office. That’s why we’ve called here Aluna which means ‘come here’ in Swahili. It’s rather apt!”
Native to Kenya, Tanzania and Namibia, the dik-dik gets its name from the noise it makes when running for cover. They can live for up to 10 years and reach a maximum size of just 40cm tall, making it one of the smallest antelope species in the world.