Kirk’s dik-dik is the more common of the two dik-diks found in Kenya (the other is Gunther’s dik-dik, found only in Marsabit National Park & Reserve) and is commonly seen in Nairobi, Tsavo, Amboseli and Mara reserves. Its name comes from the ‘zic-tic’ call it makes when alarmed.
The dik-dik is a tiny antelope, standing only around 35cm at the shoulder. It is a reddish-brown colour on the back, with lighter flanks and white belly. Size is usually the easiest way to identify a dik-dik, but other marks are the almost total lack of a tail and the tuft of dark hair on the forehead. Horns (found on the males only) are so short (around six cm) that they are often lost in the hair tuft.
Dik-dik are usually seen singly or in pairs and are in found in exceedingly dry places — it seems they don’t have a great dependence on water. They are territorial creatures, each pair occupying an area of arround five hectares. They are mainly nocturnal but can be seen grazing in acacia scrub in the early morning and late afternoon; like so many animals they rest in the heat of the day.
The females bear a single offspring twice a year. After six months the young dik-dik reaches sexual maturity and is then driven out of the home territory.