BROOKFIELD, Ill. — Brookfield Zoo staff had to put down a Kirk’s dik-dik antelope Wednesday after finding a severe birth defect. The small African antelope, was named Valentino after being born on Valentines Day.
Kirk’s dik-diks are one of the smallest antelopes in the world. They are most well-known for their dark eyes and small body size ranging from 12 to 14 pounds when they are full grown. Valentino was 23 ounces at birth.
“Unfortunately, veterinarians identified a birth defect that affected Valentino’s ability to swallow normally.,” the zoo said on Facebook. “Surgery was not an option due to the severity of his condition. Because of the extremely poor prognosis and concern for Valentino’s quality of life and welfare, veterinarians and animal care staff made the very difficult decision.”