LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - The Ellen Trout Zoo welcomed a new member to its family on Sept. 8 when a bay duiker calf was born. Both the mother and the calf are doing well at this time.
"Although the mother is experienced and no problems are anticipated, zoo keepers are monitoring closely to ensure that the calf is thriving," a press release from the zoo stated. "Duikers are skittish animals but, through careful work with the mother to get her accustomed to their presence, zoo keepers are able to make close visual inspections and weigh the calf to monitor its growth."
The calf also received a "well baby check" by the zoo's staff veterinarian, who found and treated some irritation on the animal's belly.
The Ellen Trout Zoo has been home to bay duikers since 1988. Sept 8's calf marked the 11th Bay duiker to be born at the zoo, and the last one was born just before Thanksgiving 2011. Even though Bay duikers are widespread in Africa, there are currently only 13 Bay duikers in two North American zoos.
A forest dwelling creature, the bay duiker is a small antelope that stands about 20 inches tall at the shoulder as an adult. The calf, which weighed about 3 pounds at birth, will grow to weigh up to 40 pounds.
"At the early stages of life, duiker calves will remain secluded, hiding in vegetation to be safe from predators in the wild," the press release stated. "So calves, even when raised by the mother, are not visible to zoo visitors for many weeks."
As a result, the calf and its mother are off-exhibit. However, its sire and older brother can still be seen by zoo visitors.