Z is for zebra duiker
The last animal in my endangered animal A-Z is the zebra duiker. It’s a dainty, South African antelope, with 12-15 black stripes down its gold to copper-brown back. The word ‘duiker’ in Afrikaans means diver – it was named after the swift dive into undergrowth it makes when disturbed.
This little ungulate has a very hard front to its skull, and uses this to crack open some of the fruits that form a lot of its diet. As it’s not very tall, it relies on other animals dropping some of the fruit onto the floor of the forest which it then grazes. It also eats buds, shoots and leaves.
Its markings make it very cryptic in the forest, and it is rarely seen by humans, so its decline is not attributable to human hunting, like many other types of duiker. It is classified as Vulnerable by the IUCN Red List for Threatened Species, mainly because of deforestation.
all neatly striped,
stays to graze
until in fright
(a noise perhaps?)
If you’d like to read about the zebra duiker, click here: Wikipedia.
If you’d like to read about the IUCN Red List for Threatened species, click here: IUCN Red List.
Poem and illustration © Liz Brownlee – all this post is copyright material, please do not repost it. you may link to it.