Sometimes it seems like nothing but bad news comes across my feed. Even an optimist like myself has to sigh and shrug and give in to the realization that the best one can hope for is that tomorrow will be better.
But this morning I came across something so unimaginably adorable that I forgot all my woes and found myself smiling at the computer screen. And so, in the name of much-needed cuteness and a gentler world I bring you… Neo the 8″ (20 centimeter) tall Kirk’s dik-dik antelope.Little Neo weighs in at about 3 pounds (1.3 kgs). He will grow to be about twice as big as he is now. But at about 16″ the Kirk’s dik-dik is the smallest antelope in the world. They are native to “Kenya, Tanzania and Namibia” [Chester Zoo.org] where they live “in a variety of habitats such as woodlands and grassland.” [Ibid] The Chester Zoo has had a dik-dik exhibit for six years.
Unfortunately life has not been easy for month old Neo (he was born 10.10.13). His mother rejected him as she did his eight-month-old sister Aluna. According to Zookeeper Claire McPhee:
Between socialization tips and confidence boosting lessons form Aluna and hands-on care by the the staff at the Chester Zoo Neo’s prospects look good.
“Dik-dik mothers do not always take to their young and unfortunately Neo and his mum didn’t quite hit it off. …But happily his not-so-big sister Aluna … is drawing on her own experiences and is being a real calming influence on him. They spend lots and lots of time in each other’s company and she’s really helping with his development in his crucial early days. …Little Neo is … a little bit shy, nervous and jumpy around other dik diks. But Aluna is dishing out lots of special care and attention and it’s helping him integrate into the wider family group. She’s helping him to settle in nicely and it’s lovely to see.” [Ibid]
- Baby dik-dik has to grow up quick quick after mother abandons family (metro.co.uk)
- Meet The World’s Most Adorable Antelope: Neo (sourcefed.com)
- The Dik Dik Is Your New Favorite Mini Animal (buzzfeed.com)
- This is my new favorite baby animal (thepoodleanddogblog.typepad.com)
- The Dik-Dik: Funny Name, Serious Relationships (oddorganisms.wordpress.com)