Early in the morning on May 25, Chattanooga Zoo Keepers were happily surprised that the female Blue Duiker, Poppy, had given birth sometime during the night to her long-awaited baby. Even more great news, early exams indicate that the calf is doing extremely well, said zoo officials. The baby is already nursing successfully, alert, and exploring its habitat.
The public may visit the Zoo's social media channels Thursday for an opportunity to vote on the newest Zoo resident's name.
Blue Duikers, a tiny species of Antelope found in Africa, weigh only around 10-20 pounds as a full grown adult. And their babies? They’re born weighing only a pound. In fact, the newest calf weighs 495 grams--as much as a can of coke or a package of butter.
Mom, dad, and baby are all peacefully resting in their habitat.
Blue Duikers are listed in the species survival plan, and Poppy and Branch are actually a recommended breeding pair via the SSP. The Species Survival Plan is a population management program that works directly with AZA accredited zoos and aquariums to conserve wildlife. The baby’s birth means more genetic diversity in the species, and is an important step in saving these animals in the wild.
Visit the entire Blue Duiker family inside the Giraffe barn.