Image: © Chester Zoo

Chester Zoo Welcome Baby to World's Smallest Deer

Author

The Animal Facts Editorial Team

Published

July 22, 2023 6:28 pm

Location

Chester, England, The United Kingdm

Chester Zoo are celebrating the birth of a southern pudu on May 17th 2023. The tiny fawn will grow, but not by much with the southern pudu being the world's smallest species of deer. At birth the youngster weighed just 900g and stood 6in tall. As an adult it will reach a height of just 1.5ft (18inches).

The new arrival has been Paolo by keepers at the conservation zoo located in England.

“Pudus are the smallest deer in the world – and so you can just imagine how tiny a new born is. In fact, being similar in size to a guinea pig, Paolo [the zoo’s new arrival] makes even Bambi look huge!


“But while they may only be tiny and have little legs, they are excellent sprinters. And what they lack in size they make up for in strategy – running in zigzag patterns to help them fend off the interest of less nimble predators.

The arrival of this deer is an exciting moment for the conservation breeding program for this species. Experts brought parents Serena and Odin together as part of efforts to ensure a genetically viable insurance population in zoos to help with the long-term protection of the species.

Guests will be able to tell Paolo apart from his parents for the first few months due to the distinctive white flecks within the fur on his back. Caroline explained, "Pudu fawns have distinctive flecks of white fur on their backs to help with their camouflage. These fade as they get older but Paolo, at the young age he is, is very much sporting these for the time being. We’re ever so pleased with his development so far and hopefully he’ll not only help us to put a spotlight on these wonderful animals, but also go on to play his own part in the conservation breeding programme to protect the species.”

Southern pudus are native to Argentina and Chile where they can be found in rainforest areas. Loss of their rainforest home and illegal hunting have led the International Union for the Conservation of Nature to list the species as near-threatened.

Southern Pudu Fawn Born at Chester Zoo

Image: © Chester Zoo

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Our Favourite Southern Pudu Fact!

A male southern pudu will grow a pair of short and spiked antlers which they shed each July before growing a new pair prior to the next breeding season.

Image: © Chester Zoo

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