Bay Duiker Born in time for Thanksgiving

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Bay Duiker family, calf three hours old.

Bay Duiker Born in time for Thanksgiving

Dec 7, 2011

The Ellen Trout Zoo has a long history with this species which has declined dramatically in zoos. ISIS reports only two institutions maintaining this species with a population that now includes eight specimens. Careful husbandry practices have allowed zoo staff to monitor the birth and now the developmental progress of the calf closely without causing distress to the calf or the dam.

The Bay Duiker, also known as a Black-backed Duiker, is a mid-sized forest dwelling African antelope with a reddish coat and a black stripe along its back. Gestation lasts 7.5 to 8 months.

This is the first calf born to eight year old “Princess” and three year old “Billy Bob”, with parturition occurring 226 days after they were re-united following a short separation. Labor was relatively short with an easy birth. After two hours, the calf was standing and after three hours it was making its first attempts to nurse. The pair is very compatible and, while they were still together during the birth, the dam and calf were separated from the sire as a precaution while the calf is very young.

During this early period, the calf “hides” most of the day and would not be visible even if on public display. For now, the calf lives in an off exhibit yard with its dam and has access to a heated shelter where it spends most of its time. Animal care staff monitors the calf closely every day and it is thriving. The family will be re-introduced when the calf is older.

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