It looks likeÂ zoo creatures just keep getting cuter – and tinier.
As the Huffington Post informs, “the latest addition to the stable of aww-inducing zoo babies is a female klipspringer calf, born in March at the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago.”
“If someone drew the cutest animal they could imagine for Disney and brought it to life, it would probably look something like this tiny dwarf antelope species.”
Probably, it’s hard to find in the native central and east African creatures something that is not adorable and cute: klipspringer is to reach about 20 inches in height when fully grown,Â and they walk around on their tip-toes.
“If you look at their hooves, you see they’re almost always standing on their tip-toes,” Mark Kamhout, the zoo’s curator of mammals told reportersÂ by phone. “[The calf] can stand on a inch or half-inch ledge comfortably. It helps them avoid predators.”
In addition to their perchability, the curator of mammals alsoÂ said that the tiny klipspringers have cheetah-like speed and can “go up and down really quick” as they richochet off rocky habitats likeÂ parkour champsÂ of the animal kingdom.
Zoo officials intervened when the little one was born and her mother was “unable to provide the proper care after birth,” and are now up to choosingÂ the thriving name for the babyÂ via public vote.
The list of options includes such variants as “Asha” (which means “hope”), “Zuri” (“pretty”), “Amira” (“princess”), “Nadra” (“special”) and “Bahiya” (“beautiful”).
Organisers claim that the results of public voting will be announced on 15th of May.
Given the ubiquity of extra-small animals that are a pygmy this or mini that, reportersÂ asked Kamhout whether this species and other animals were part of a trend of incredible shrinking zoo babies.
“It may seem like that, but it’s certainly not the case,” Kamhout said. “[Zoo’s] come up with different name for different animals and we kind of come up with generic names for small animals because it’s easier to use a name like ‘dwarf’ than use their scientific names.”
Sharon Dewar, director of public relations for the zoo chalked the proliferation of pint-sized creatures as a strange coincidence and says the names simply help to differentiate them from other similar, larger subspecies in their family group.
Kamhout noted that while babies and other tiny animals generate initial buzz, the fussing over cuteness ends up benefiting all the zoo’s animals in the long run.
“Attention does focus initially on the babies, but then it broadens out to other animals and most importantly, our conservation efforts.”