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 Orphaned Baby Dik-Diks arrive at the Nursery - 12/3/2012
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Meet Pilipili and Hoho, two orphaned Kirk's Dik-Diks who are the newest arrivals to the DSWT family at the Nairobi Nursery. Sadly both tiny babies were left abandoned after their mothers were both attacked and killed by baboons on the same day, remarkably having both been found at the same time within a short distance from each other. Pilipili is a female and was just a week or two old when she was found whilst Hoho, a male, was newborn. Thankfully they took to feeding brilliantly and were quick to latch on to their new human family, alongside the company of Geri the orphaned Thompsons Gazelle. Angela Sheldrick's sons decided on their names, calling them after a sweet pepper (capsicum) which in Swahili is called Pilipili Hoho.

Daphne and Hoho  Hoho the dikdik

Milk feed with a syringe   Enjoying the gardens

They both have wonderful tufts of hair on their crowns, and in Hoho's case where mini horns will one day grow. They both have black spots below the inside corners of each eye where a gland produces a dark, sticky secretion used to scent-mark their territories. Another interesting characteristic of Dik-Diks is their inquisitive elongated snouts with bellow-like muscles, which are used to pump and recirculate cooled blood around the body to prevent overheating.

Feeding time  PiliPili and Hoho

Hoho loves the company of his human family  Angela and Hoho

On arrival to the nursery both Dik-Diks, which are the smallest antelopes in Kenya, have been nestled away together from the rest of the world in a basket, to simulate what their mothers would have done, laying them up to keep them protected from predators until they were strong and fast enough to escape. With regular milk feeds they have been slowly introduced to the outside world at the nursery, and they now enjoy full days outside in Angela's garden with a Keeper on hand to protect them from both birds of prey and the dreaded baboons, whilst they discover all the fresh vegetation on offer as they start to eat greens. Dik-Diks are inherently monogamous, staying together as a pair for their entire life, so perhaps Hoho and Pilipili will hopefully mate for life, raising a new batch of wild baby Dik-Diks in Nairobi National Park to join the wild ones in the area.

Christmas with Pili and Hoho

   

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