Nashville Zoo’s antelope collection continues to expand with the addition of yellow-backed duikers to an exhibit on Bamboo Trail.
“Yellow-backed duikers are small antelopes native to the forests of central and west Africa,” said Lanny Brown, mammal curator.
“There are around 60 yellow-backed duikers in North American zoos, so we are excited to give our visitors the chance to learn more about this rare and relatively unknown animal.”
The two females, ages 3 years old and 9 months old, come to Nashville from San Diego Zoo. They weigh around 150 lbs. and are about four feet long.
Yellow-backed duikers are the largest of the duiker species and the most abundant, however they are threatened with extinction due to habitat loss, and a lack of information and education in their native range. They are distinguishable thanks to the large patch of golden hair located on – you guessed it – their lower back. The word duiker (pronounced DIE-kur) is an Afrikaans word for “one that dives” referring to the animal’s habit of diving into bush or thicket when it is alarmed.
The Zoo hopes to eventually add a male to the collection for breeding.
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