Ajani the klipspringer

Welcome, Ajani!

Ajani following a keeper.

There’s a baby at the San Diego Zoo that is already a winner—and he is only a few months old! Early one morning in February of 2019, a klipspringer (a tiny type of antelope) gave birth to a male calf. The mom couldn’t take care of him, so zoo keepers stepped in to help.

Klipspringer Ajani with mom in foreground.

Lots of care...and milk

Keepers took the baby to the Zoo hospital, where they warmed him up and made sure he was healthy. They started bottle-feeding the baby, and at one point he was getting three bottles a day! As soon as the keepers had him strong enough, the calf was returned to his mother in the Kopje in Africa Rocks. He nursed from his mom, and grew and grew. Within two months, he was already five times bigger than he was at birth. He was soon playing with his mom and learning to jump from rock to rock, just like a klipspringer should. The word klipspringer even means “rock jumper” in Afrikkans, a language in the part of Africa where these animals are from.

Ajani standing in his habitat.

He's a "winner"

The klipspringer calf grew so strong and active that, in honor of how much he had improved after his early struggles, keepers named him Ajani, which means “he who wins the struggle” in Afrikaans. He sure did, and you can see him at the Kopje. He will live there until he is grown up enough to be on his own, at about one year of age.