Adorable antelope being hand-reared

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Courtesy: Chester Zoo

Meet Thanos – the adorable orphaned Dik-dik – a species of antelope – who is being hand-reared after his mother sadly died shortly after his birth.

Despite the sad start to life for Thanos, staff at Chester Zoo in the U.K are raising him as their own – with his newfound human ‘mums’.

Keepers are bottle feeding the cute critter five times a day, and he will be given a helping hand until he is old enough to eat by himself.

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Courtesy: Chester Zoo

Standing at just 19-inches tall, the tiny antelope is so light he doesn’t even register a weight on the zoo’s set of scales. But while small in stature, Thanos is making great progress, according to staff at the zoo.

Fun Fact: The Dik-dik takes it’s name from Sir John Kirk, a 19th century Scottish naturalist, as well as the alarm calls made by female Dik-diks.

Assistant team manager Kim Wood, who alongside keeper Barbara Dreyer have become Thanos’ new mums, said: “The youngster is beginning to find his feet now and is really starting to hold his own.

“He is doing ever so well and is getting stronger by the day. We’re hopeful that, in a few months’ time, we’ll be able to introduce him to some of the other members of our group of dik-diks.

“He may be tiny but he is certainly making a big impression on everyone at the zoo.”

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Courtesy: Chester Zoo

 

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Courtesy: Chester Zoo

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Courtesy: Chester Zoo

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Courtesy: Chester Zoo

Kirk’s dik-diks grow to a maximum size of just 40cm, making them one of the smallest species of antelope in the world.

Kirk’s dik-diks are native to North East Africa and conservationists say they mark their territory with fluid from glands between their toes and just under their eyes, not dissimilar to tears.

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