Zoo Knoxville Celebrates Valentine's Day with a New Jewel

Communications Director

Eric Vreeland
evreeland@knoxvilletn.gov
(865) 215-3480

400 Main St., Room 654A
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Zoo Knoxville Celebrates Valentine's Day with a New Jewel

Posted: 02/13/2017
Ruby the DuikerZoo Knoxville is celebrating Valentine’s Day with a new jewel, an adorable yellow-backed duiker (pronounced DIE-kur) calf, whose name “Ruby” was inspired by the tuft of red hair on top of her head.   The 6 ½ week-old female was born on December 30, 2016, weighing approximately 15 pounds at birth.  

Due to the January weather, Ruby and her mother Pixie Stix have opted to spend the majority of their time indoors, although she has started venturing out to explore her habitat on mild days.  Despite her elusive first few weeks, Ruby has proven to be quite photogenic and her first baby photos have already won the hearts of many admirers.     

Duikers are native to the forests of central and western Africa and are related to bison, antelopes and gazelles.  The name yellow-backed duiker comes from two distinct characteristics, one being a dark brown to black body with a triangular yellow spot on their backs.  “Duiker’ is the Afrikaans word for ‘diver’, referring to their habit of diving into the bushes for cover.

Zoo Knoxville is a nonprofit entity situated on 53 wooded acres just east of downtown Knoxville. Zoo Knoxville features exhibits of wild animals in natural habitats and is world renowned for its efforts in conservation and species survival. Zoo Knoxville is nationally accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and is committed to the highest standards in animal care and well-being, ethics, conservation, and education. Knoxville’s largest attraction, the zoo is open every day except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  Currently, the zoo is open from 10:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. daily.  Admission and ticket sales stop one-hour before the zoo closes. For more information visit zooknoxville.org