New at the Zoo: Yellow-Backed Duikers
Guests to Nashville Zoo can now see yellow-backed duikers on exhibit. The two females, named Pearl and Jade, have joined the Zoo’s collection on Bamboo Trail.
“Yellow-backed duikers are small antelopes native to the forests of central and west Africa,” said Lanny Brown, mammal curator. “There are around 60 yellow-backed duikers in North American zoos, so we are excited to give our visitors the chance to learn more about this rare and relatively unknown animal.”
Pearl (3 years old) and her calf Jade (9 months old), come to Nashville from the San Diego Zoo. They weigh around 150 lbs. and are about four feet long. The Zoo hopes to eventually add a male to the collection for breeding.
Yellow-backed duikers are the largest of the duiker species and the most abundant, however they are threatened with extinction due to habitat loss, and a lack of information and education in their native range. They are distinguishable thanks to the large patch of golden hair located on – you guessed it – their lower back. The word duiker (pronounced DIE-kur) is an Afrikaans word for “one that dives” referring to the animal’s habit of diving into bush or thicket when it is alarmed.
Nashville Zoo is accredited by the prestigious Association of Zoos and Aquariums, assuring the highest standards of animal care and husbandry. Attracting more than 830,000 visitors annually, the Zoo is considered one of the top things to do in Nashville. The Zoo is a non-profit organization located at 3777 Nolensville Pike and is open every day except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. The mission of Nashville Zoo is to inspire a culture of understanding and discovery of our natural world through conservation, innovation and leadership. For more information about Nashville Zoo, call 615-833-1534 or visit www.nashvillezoo.org.