BALTIMORE, Md. (WHTM) — The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore announced this morning that they welcomed a new blue duiker calf to their family. On July 24, Marigold, the female blue duiker calf, was born to Flower and Kuruka.

The birth of Marigold was highly recommended by the Blue Duiker Species Survival Plan (SSP) coordinated by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). Recommendations, like Marigold’s, help to maximize genetic diversity, helping the health of the animal as well as the long-term survival of the species, and working to prevent extinction.

Image courtesy of The Maryland Zoo

“Marigold is healthy and gaining weight as she bonds with her mother in the barn,” said Erin Grimm, Curator of Mammals at the Maryland Zoo. “We’ve had good success breeding blue duikers. This is the third calf from our female, Flower, and the first for our male, Kuruka.

Blue duikers are very small, in fact they are roughly the same size as a house cat. Marigold weighs in at about 700 grams, or one and a half pounds.

Marigold was able to run within hours of being born, however she won’t roam freely for the first several weeks. Until then, she will hang out with her mom and by 3 months be completely independent.

Blue duiker’s are a species of antelope that live in the forests of western, southern, and eastern Africa. They can weigh about seven to 20 pounds. Blue duiker’s aren’t threatened or endangered, but their population is becoming affected by hunting and loss of their habitat.

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More information about the Maryland Zoo’s duikers is available here.

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