Cathy Bazzoni/Chicago Zoological Society

Tiny Antelope Born On Valentine's Day At Brookfield Zoo

The zoo named the calf Valentino in honor of the holiday.

February 15, 2019 - 7:45 am

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Cupid delivered love in the form of a baby antelope on Valentine's Day at Brookfield Zoo. 

An African antelope known as a Kirk's dik-dik was born Thursday at Brookfield Zoo. And in the spirit of Valentine's Day, the male calf was named Valentino. 

The baby dik-dik weighed just over 23 ounces, zoo officials said. According to the zoo, Valentino is the second calf born to its mother, Chloe, and the first born to its father, Captain, the 6-year-old sire. 

Kirk's dik-diks are one the smallest antelopes in the world. The Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan recommends that calves be handreared. The zoo’s animal care staff is working closely with the veterinarians and nutritionist during the handrearing period to make sure Valentino receives the proper diet and reaches certain milestones. According to the zoo, he will receive a bottle of milk formula every four hours. When he is about a week old, he will be introduced to solid foods.

Valentino will double his weight, gaining about 1.5 ounces per day. At 5 weeks old, his weight will triple. ​Dik-diks weigh between 12 and 14 pounds and stand 14 to 16 inches tall once fully grown. 

Cathy Bazzoni/Chicago Zoological Society

The tiny antelopes are known to camouflage. They can be identified best by their large, striking, dark eyes that are each surrounded by a white ring.

Currently, there are 32 dik-dik antelopes in 17 North American zoos.