Earlier this month, the world’s smallest deer, a Southern pudu, gave birth at Belfast Zoo. Baby Caju is 3 weeks old and is the first Chilean pudu birth for Belfast Zoo and the first captive birth of the species in Ireland.
2 September 2009
The world’s smallest deer, a Southern pudu, has given birth in Belfast Zoo. Baby Caju is 3 weeks old and is the first Chilean pudu birth for Belfast Zoo and the first captive birth in Ireland.
Zoo Keeper, Raymond Robinson is delighted at the safe arrival. “Caju is a great addition to the zoo. Our male pudu arrived in 2004 and our female arrived in 2008, and it’s great to have a baby already. He is very small and can be difficult to spot but is having great fun running around his enclosure. ”
The main threat to the southern pudu is destruction of its temperate forest habitat for cattle ranching and logging. Habitat loss through conversion of forest into open lands poses a big problem to the survival of the southern pudu, as do road accidents and hunting.
Zoo Manager, Mark Challis, said “We are delighted to support the captive population of the pudu helping to conserve a small but unique deer under threat in its natural habitat”.
The southern Pudu is listed on appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), helping protect the southern pudu by banning all international trade of the animal.
The baby pudu will reach its full height by three months, and can be seen in its enclosure with mum and dad and two southern screamers.