Posted June 2017
The Milwaukee County Zoo recently welcomed two new species into its collection: a female yellow-back duiker (a type of African antelope; name rhymes with “biker”) and three male Thomson’s gazelles. All are now on outdoor public exhibit.
Yellow-back duiker Aria is just over one year old and weighs about 150 pounds – essentially full-grown for a female duiker. This is a new species for the Milwaukee County Zoo, and not commonly found in zoo collections. She shares an exhibit with the Zoo’s two female bongos, also a type of African antelope. Wild duiker populations inhabit the rainforest areas of Africa and are currently listed as “threatened.”
Her diet consists primarily of fruit, alfalfa, browse and pellet mix, although yellow-back duikers are omnivores who also feed on carrion – even occasionally hunting small animals. She’s increasingly allowing new zookeepers to feed her by hand, which demonstrates comfort in her new home. (She arrived from the Memphis Zoo.)
Adjacent to the duiker exhibit, three new Thomson’s gazelles have arrived in the African Savanna Exhibit – Alvin, Simon and Theodore. The MCZ has not displayed gazelles since 2005.
All of the gazelles were born in 2016, and are related as half-brothers – sharing the same father. Near threatened in the wild, with populations decreasing, these grazing African antelopes live in herds which may consist of as few as 10, or several hundred animals. Often called Tommies, gazelles are one of three migratory species that make up the vast Serengeti migration. Like the zebra and the wildebeest, there may be an excess of 500,000 Tommies in the migration.
Zookeepers are allowing the gazelles plenty of time to acclimate to their new surroundings.
Click on the thumbnails below to browse through photos.