• IUCN Status
    Least Concern.
  • Population
  • Diet
    Herbivore - mostly leaves
  • Group
  • Size
    35-46 cm Tall
  • Continent
  • Lifespan
    5 years in the wild, but may surpass 10 years in captivity.
  • Weight
    7.2 kg, with females tending to be slightly heavier.
  • Habitat
    Kirk’s dik-dik are endemic to Savannah areas of Eastern and Southwestern Africa
  • Scientific Name
    Madoqua kirkii

Meet the Kirk’s Dik Dik


One of the four sub-species of dik-dik; Kirk’s dik-dik evolved 12 million years ago, they are small, speedy, nocturnal antelopes, reaching up to speeds of 42kph.

Kirk's dik-dik are endemic to savannah areas of eastern and southwestern Africa, occurring primarily in the Somali and Southwest arid biotic zones, but encroaching into the Southern savannah biotic zone.

Dik-diks live in pairs (male and female), they are shy and elusive most of the time. When startled, these small mammals will take off, displaying the most spectacular series of zigzag leaps whilst calling "zik-zik" or "dik-dik,", hence their common name dik-dik.

Although they were initially affected by increases in agriculture in the area, their preferred habitat is difficult to be monopolised by humans and they are able to live off over-grazed areas of land, and so they are surprisingly resilient for such a small and delicate antelope.



Thanos at Wolds Wildlife Park

Did you know?

Here are just some of the many things to know about Kirk's Dik Dik.

How big is a Kirks dik-dik?up arrow

Kirk's dik-dik grow to a maximum size of 40cm making them one of the smallest species of antelope in the world

How did the Kirk's dik-dik get it's name?down arrow

The species of antelope takes it's name from Sir John Kirk, as 19th Century Scottish naturalist combined with the sound it makes when fleeing from danger

How do Kirk's dik-dik mark their territory?down arrow

They purposefully poke their preorbital glands with grass and twigs to make themselves cry, this fluid is then used to mark their territory.

How do dik-diks protect themselves from predators?down arrow

When dik-diks feel like they are in danger or hear alarm calls from other animals they hide instead of fleeing.  If discovered they run in a zigzag pattern at speeds of up to 42kph.

What adaptations do dik-diks have?down arrow

In order to conserve water dik-diks have very dry poo and the most concentrated urine of all ungulates. This enables them to survive long periods without water.