Guenther’s Dik-dik (Madoqua guentheri)

Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family:    Bovidae
Size:    Height: 12 to 16 inches (30 to 40 cm) at the shoulder 
Weight: 7 to 13 pounds (3 to 6 kg)
Diet: Leaves, shoots, and roots
Distribution: Africa
Young:  1 fawn, twice per year
Animal Predators:  Leopard, cheetah, jackal, baboon, eagle and python
IUCN Status: No special status 
Terms: Young: Fawn
Lifespan: 10 to 12 years



·       Dik-diks are extremely fast runners, reaching speeds of up to 42 km per hour.

·       Unlike deer, dik-diks grow permanent horns, not antlers.

·       They have excellent eyesight.

·       These tiny antelopes are the size of a large jackrabbit.



These small, delicate-looking antelopes have soft gray or brown coats with white bellies. They have long necks, small heads, and large ears and eyes. The males have short, ringed horns, but the females do not have horns. A distinguishing feature of Guenther’s dik-diks are their elongated snouts.



Dik-diks live in southern and eastern Africa, in southeastern Somalia, northern and central Tanzania, central and southern Kenya, northern Uganda and southwestern Angola and Namibia. They can usually be found in grassland or woodland, wherever there is enough vegetation to provide them with cover to escape predators.  


Feeding Habits

Dik-diks  feed on leaves, fruit, roots, tubers, grasses and shrubs. They obtain enough moisture from plant juices and dew to be able to survive without drinking water for a long period of time.



Females generally give birth twice per year. The pregnancy lasts six months, which means that most females are perpetually pregnant, even while they are nursing their current fawn. Fawns nurse until they are six weeks of age. The young reach full adult size by one year. When dik-diks are between six and seven months, the parents shoo their young away to find mates and establish territories of their own.



Dik-diks live in groups of three animals—a mother, father and a fawn. They are shy and skitterish animals. When in danger, dik-diks leap in a zig-zag pattern and then whistle as they run away. The whistle sounds like “dik-dik” or “zik-zik,” and is the reason for their name. Dik-diks are territorial animals and mark their boundaries by rubbing branches with a sticky black secretion from a black spot found at the corner of their eyes. The male also urinates, and rubs his horns on tree trunks to mark the territory. The male alone defends the territory.



There is concern for the future as dik-diks are being overhunted.