A baby southern pudu has been born at the Wildlife Conservation Societies (WCS) Queens Zoo on May 12. Pudu’s are the world’s smallest deer species with adults standing just 35.5cm (14in) tall.
This is the third year in a row that the Queen’s Zoo’s pudu pair has produced a fawn. Currently mum is nursing the fawn while also transitioning it on to a diet of fresh leaves, grain, kale, carrots and hay.
In the coming months the fawn’s white spots will disappear and it will grow into its adult coat.
Pudu’s may be small but they can jump and sprint when attempting to get away from predators. They will also run in a zig-zag pattern. Most of the time they are shy and prefer to hide in thick vegetation.
Queens Zoo participates in the Species Survival Program (SSP) for this vulnerable species. This is a cooperative effort between members of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums that is aiming to enhance the genetic viability and demographic stability of the captive pudu population.
WCS is working in Chile and Argentina to save the pudu from habitat loss. You can support that work by going here – wcs.org.
Photo Credit: Queens Zoo