A baby Pudu, the world's smallest species of deer, recently made his debut at the UK's Bristol Zoo Gardens.
This male Pudu was born May 6 and has recently ventured out into his paddock for the first time.
The fawn weighed only about two pounds (1kg) at birth. At one month, he weighed only four pounds (1.8kg) -- about half the weight of a newborn human baby! The tiny youngster is part of an international conservation breeding program. As with all Pudu fawns, he has distinctive white spotted markings on his back which help to camouflage him from predators.
Assistant curator for mammals Lynsey Bugg said, “Behaviour at the moment is still what you would expect from a young fawn. He enjoys hiding in shrubs and undergrowth where he feels most secure. Mum is very good at moving him around as she sees fit but he will always choose a quiet and secluded spot to settle."
Pudus are classified as a vulnerable species. They live in lowland temperate rainforests in Chile and south-west Argentina but their numbers have declined due to their rainforest habitat being destroyed and cleared for cattle ranching and other human developments, as well as natural predators such as pumas and foxes.
Pudus are the world’s smallest species of deer, standing about 14" (38cm) at the shoulder when fully grown and weighing around 20-33 pounds (9-15kg). A male’s antlers only grow to four inches (10cm) long.
Photo Credits: Bristol Zoo