Reo, Klipspringer

December 19, 2022

Lincoln Park Zoo is pleased to announce the arrival of a female klipspringer! Reo arrived from the San Diego Zoo and is sharing a habitat at Regenstein African Journey with Dash, the resident male klipspringer. These two little antelopes have been paired by a recommendation from the Klipspringer Species Survival Plan®.

Klipspringer adults are sometimes mistaken for baby deer or goats—they are just 20 inches at the shoulder and weigh a maximum of 40 pounds when fully grown. But a closer look shows that their features aren’t the same as those of more local hoofed animals. For one thing, they have noticeable scent glands in front of their eyes that excrete a gooey, tar-like substance used to mark territory.

Klipspringer feet are adapted for climbing; the last joint on each leg is rotated so that klipspringers look like they’re walking on their hoof-tips. These hooves also have a slight suction-cup effect that allows them excellent traction in the arid, rocky kopjes of sub-Saharan Africa where they live. The diameter of a klipspringer’s hooves is equivalent to the size of a dime!

As you can imagine, these animals are quite agile, but when you view them in their habitat you might see them standing extremely still for long periods of time. This is likely their way of watching for predators. If they were to locate one, they would communicate that fact to others through whistles and snorts that sound like loud sneezes.

Klipspringers are listed as a species of Least Concern by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and around 25 percent of their native range falls within protected areas. However, some populations may be decreasing in number.

Reo can be found in the dry thorn habitat at Regenstein African Journey. Come by and see if you can spot her!

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