Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden is proud to welcome a baby Klipspringer (Oreotragus oreotragus) to the Zoo. This male calf, born on January 6, 2012, is with his mother and father in an exhibit near the zoo’s Entry Plaza. The father was born in Detroit in 2001 and has been at Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden since 2003, and the mother, born in Jacksonville in 2007, has been at the zoo since 2009. There are currently only about 30 Klipspringers in zoos across North America.
The word Klipspringer is Afrikaans for “rock jumper.” Klipspringers are small African hoofed animals that are very sure footed and can easily navigate rocky terrain. They typically only weigh about forty pounds and stand about twenty-two inches tall at the shoulder. These animals are strictly monogamous and stay within feet of their mate at all times, taking turns eating and keeping watch for predators. These delicate animals have large and widely spaced eyes, and the males have four to six inch long horns.