Denver Zoo Mourning the Loss of Spock, a 14-Year-Old Dik-Dik
The Denver Zoo is in mourning following the loss of Spock, a 14-year-old Kirk's dik-dik.
The Zoo announced Spock's death in a Wednesday (Feb. 1) Facebook post, revealing that, after noticing severe changes in the animal's behavior, Spock's care team took him to the Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Animal Hospital, where they learned that he had metastatic cancer and end-stage liver failure.
Unfortunately, Spock's condition was beyond recovery, and the Zoo made the difficult decision to humanely euthanize him over the weekend.
Thankfully, Spock enjoyed a happier life than the average Kirk's dik-dik and outlived his species' usual life expectancy by four years. According to the Zoo, the animal spent his time playing with toys, soaking up the sunshine, and eating peanut butter.
"He may have been tiny, but he had a huge impact, even reaching people who only knew him through photos and videos," said Spock's keeper Christa in the post. "His trust was not easily earned, and you had to put in the time and effort to build a strong relationship with him; but once you did, you had it."
Christa noted that she loved watching Spock engage in natural dik-dik behaviors, like sparring with branches and scent marking.
Sadly, Spock's death isn't the Denver Zoo's only loss of 2023. In January, the Zoo said goodbye to Cinnamon, the oldest titi monkey in North America.
However, the Zoo is also experiencing new life — in December 2022, African penguins Sinclair and Wesson welcomed an adorable new chick.