Young duiker thriving at San Diego Zoo - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com

Young duiker thriving at San Diego Zoo

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A black duiker at the San Diego Zoo has more than tripled its weight since its birth in December, zoo officials said Wednesday.

Rashidi, a member of the horned-mammal species native to Africa, weighed 5 pounds when he came into the world seven weeks ago, but is now up to 17 pounds, according to the zoo.

He's the second offspring of Robin and Luke. Their first, Kodi, was the first black duiker born at the San Diego Zoo and now resides at the Safari Park.

Keepers report that Rashidi has bonded well with his parents. He nursed from his mother for the first few weeks but now eats solid foods.

The young duiker's diet primarily consists of fresh fallen leaves, alfalfa hay and diced squash and yams. Rashidi particularly enjoys acacia leaves, which keepers often put out for him around his exhibit.

Rashidi, Robin and Luke share their exhibit space with two okapis, a much-larger species closely related to giraffes. Rashidi can be seen spending time near his okapi exhibit mates, exploring his exhibit, chasing after his parents and nibbling on acacia leaves.

Duikers get their name from the Afrikaans word "duikerbok," which means "diving buck." When frightened, they tend to dive into bushes to hide.

The species is near threatened in the wild, mainly due to natural predators and agricultural burn off, making Rashidi's birth significant for the genetics of the species, zoo officials said.

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