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Monday, June 25, 2012

The story of Kirk's Dik Dik


I'm a researcher by nature. Before I go anywhere new I like to know some of what's there and what to expect. When it comes to vacations, I like to research fun things to do and interesting things to see.

Before we left for Louisiana, I started researching. I looked at different clothes stores, shopping malls, restaurants, where I could buy food I could actually eat (food intolerances + coeliac = a tonne of food planning) and of course I looked up where the closest Wholefoods was. At the time I thought Baton Rouge would be too far away, since we never drive more than 30 minutes - but I later realised we were one block away from Wholefoods and I had completely wiped it off my list (though I bet I saved myself a fortune!).

The main place of interest I found was the Alexandria Zoo. I'm a zoo person, always have been. I could spend hours walking around looking and different animals - and of course the ability to photograph them all in such a small space is perfect.

The Alexandria Zoo had a list of their animals on their site. While scrolling through, I came across "Kirk's Dik Dik" and with a name like that, of course my immature self had to find out more.


Kirk's Dik Dik is a type of small antelope that is native to eastern and south-western Africa... Although they have a slightly unusual name, this was coined due to the fact that these animals make quick zig-zag leaps as they dash for cover when making a call that resembles a “zik zik” or “dik dik”.

I told my Mum and Jesse who thought that Kirk's Dik Dik was equally as hilarious as I did and we began telling friends who asked "What are you going to do in Louisiana?" that we were planning to see Kirk's Dik Dik. Everytime, we got the same reaction...

"Sorry... WHAT?!"
"Did you say.. ahem... what did you say?!"
"Wait... you didn't just say..."



Kirk's Dik Dik became a running joke and on the second Wednesday we were there, Jesse's Mom, my Mum, Jesse, his two youngest nieces and I all set off to go to the zoo.

We got the little girls a wagon so that they didn't have to walk around the zoo and we started our way around.

 click to see larger images

We saw flamingos, macaws and tortoise too


We saw lions and tigers and bears


 We even came all the way from Australia only to see emus, kookaburras, wallabies and kangaroos - and a monkey that looked a little like me after a glutening mishap. Yeah, this is why I've coined the term "gluten baby".

We saw animals that looked a little like distant cousins of Kirk's Dik Dik, like the Patagonian Cavy - but when we got to Kirk's Dik Dik we saw...


Yep, we came alllllllllll the way around the world and Kirk's Dik Dik was no where to be found. The elusive creature we had joked about for months was MIA so I did what any normal person would do.. I took a picture of the sign. At least I could say I saw Kirk's Dik Dik on a sign, right?

Sometimes you can research and plan to the nth degree, but some things just don't work out the way you'd like them to. Though, next trip... I will find Kirk's Dik Dik!

So tell me, are you a researcher by nature?
and what's your favourite zoo animal?

I'm kind of partial to animals I've had experiences with - I've fed elephant's at Steve Irwin's Australia Zoo, snuggled Koalas and walked alongside baby tiger cubs at Dreamworld. Elephants are definitely a favourite though.


    
   




6 comments:

  1. Yes, I always thoroughly research before embarking on a vacation. My husband likes to just "show up" and be surprised at what I planned. The trip is never exactly as I planned it - and that's okay - I just like to make sure that I have enough potential things for us to do! :-) Maybe you'll have to go to Africa on your honeymoon to seek out the dik dik. I love its beautiful, big doe-like eyes! :-)

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    1. That is such a good idea! I've always wanted to go to africa, haha!

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  2. lol, I love this post! Hope you find Kirk's Dik Dik! Also, as usual, beautiful photos! :)

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  3. Hi Kristy, I currently work at the Alexndria Zoo. The Dik Dik is actually in my section so I get to see him every day. He is a very small little guy who likes to play hide and seek most of the day. He also loves to lay in the shade since it reaches temps in 110's often here. So sorry you were unable to see him, but next time you are in town and cannot find a particular animal that you seek, please do not hesitate to ask a zoo keeper to try and flush them out for you.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for commenting! Here's hoping next time the Dik Dik is out of hiding, but if not I'll be sure to ask! :)

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