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WILDLIFE

Super suni sighting

In Summary
  • Suni are often mistaken for dik-dik.
  • The tiny antelope seen in the forest area are almost always suni

While driving on the tar road towards the main gate in the late afternoon, I saw a tiny antelope eating next to the road.

It was a tiny suni, which is only found in the forested section and can be seen if driving very slowly in the early morning or late afternoon when they feed on green shoots and leaves.

They are very shy and sensitive and it is rare to get close to them. I mostly watch them through binoculars.

The suni suddenly ran across the road in front of me, and into a thick clump of bushes. I was just about to drive when suddenly the suni emerged from the bushes. I could scarcely believe my eyes, a tiny tiny minute little lamb was trying to stand and suckle on its mother.

Wow! What a super suni sighting, a mega tick on my all-time sightings in the park.

The lamb could not have been more than an hour or two old, and the mother was trying to force it to walk, as she slowly moved away every time the lamb tried to stand and walk on its wobbly newborn legs. There is always something very precious and special about witnessing the start of a new life.

Suni are often mistaken for dik-dik, the tiny antelope seen in the forest area are almost always suni (Neotragus moschatus) also known as 'Paa’ in Kiswahili, even smaller than dik-dik, they are the smallest antelope in the park.

They vary in colour from fawn grey to chestnut brown on the back with white underneath. Over many years I have never seen a Kirk's dik-dik actually inside the park, only seen them just outside the Masai gate in the silole sanctuary.

Next time you drive through the forest be on the lookout for the special suni antelope.

For more information link to the following website www.kws.go.ke

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