Valentino, an antelope born last week at Brookfield Zoo, was euthanized Tuesday.
The male calf belonged to a species known as Kirk’s dik-dik that is one of the smallest antelopes in the world. Valentino weighed just more than 23 ounces at birth on Valentine’s Day.
“Unfortunately, veterinarians identified a birth defect that affected Valentino’s ability to swallow normally. Surgery was not an option due to the severity of his condition,” the zoo wrote on Facebook. “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.”
There are currently 32 Kirk’s dik-dik antelopes living in 17 North American zoos.