Deer

Tiny Muntjac Fawn Born at Red River Zoo

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The Red River Zoo in Fargo, ND announced the birth of a Muntjac fawn (pronounced munt- jack). The little female was born on February 24, to mom Jasmine. This Saturday, March 2, she weighed in at just 1 pound 10 ounces (.49 kg).

Native to Northern China, Northern Russia, Mongolia and Tibet, Muntjac Deer are among the oldest of the deer family - there's evidence of their existence from as far back as 15 to 35 million years ago! This exotic animal is also among the smallest; the average adult weighs only about 25 pounds (11.33 kgs). The males do have antlers and tusks which they use to fight for territory. 

The Red River Zoo has successfully bred Muntjac to help create greater genetic diversity for the captive population in North America. Jasmine has given birth to several other healthy fawns, all female. Once old enough, the offspring are sent to other zoos to help those breeding programs. This baby is now on exhibit with her mom in the zoo's Rotary Wings over Asia Aviary.

Photo Credit: Red River Zoo


Two Little Reindeer Born at Prague Zoo

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Prague's Zoo Praha has two new baby reindeer, a boy and a girl. The male was born on Friday the 13th and the female came along about three days later. They went out in the zoo's large paddock for visitors to see for the first time on April 20. The mothers can be seen with their babies following closely behind them.  The father of both is Mirda, who himself was born in Prague Zoo.

Their large, broad hooves spread apart to form a nearly circular print and help them navigate the soft ground that covers much of the tundra in which they live in the wild. They also aid in digging for food under the snow. 

Reindeer are a species of deer found in the far northern areas of arctic Europe, Asia, and North America extending onto the tundra above the tree-line. They are called Caribou in America. Domesticated for thousands of years, they were mainly used as beasts of burden and farmed for milk, meat and their hides, reindeer have been the economic basis of the Lapp culture. Today they are raised in many areas of the world outside of their native arctic.

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Photo Credit: Tomáš Adamec, Zoo Praha


Al Ain Zoo Welcomes a Baby Chital Deer

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The UAE's Al Ain Zoo is celebrating the birth of a newborn Chital Axis Deer. Born the week of March 19, the Chital calf is now on exhibit. These deer are renowned for their beautiful reddish-brown coats with white spots and their large, three-pronged antlers.

While native to the dense semi-evergreen forests and open grasslands of Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh and India, Chital deer have also been successfully introduced to Texas, Hawaii and Queensland Australia. They are primarily grazers, feeding on short, sprouting grasses.

In the early 20th century there were substantial declines and local extinctions, driven by hunting for meat, extermination as an agricultural pest, and habitat conversion. Thanks to protected areas and their tendency to be prolific breeders, the Chital is currently listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List.

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Photo Credit: Al Ain Zoo


What's a Muntjac?

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A Muntjac, sometimes called a Barking Deer, is the oldest known species of deer. The Muntjac first appeared some 15 to 35 million years ago in Germany, France, and Poland, but its current range is South Asia including Sri Lanka, China, Taiwan, Japan, India and Indonesia. A.J. Haverkamp photographed this baby Muntjac at Amsterdam's Artis Zoo just days ago.

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Photo credits: A.J. Haverkamp


Meet Pequeño, Belfast's Newest Baby Pudu

Pequeño, the Southern pudu baby at Belfast Zoo

In early April the Belfast Zoo welcomed a Southern Pudu baby, the aptly named "Pequeño!"  The smallest member of the deer family, the Southern Pudu measures only 17 inches (43 centimeters) in adulthood. That's one tiny deer! At birth the fawn was so small that it was the same weight as a pint of milk! Zoo manager, Mark Challis, is delighted with the newest arrival “Southern Pudus are facing a high risk of extinction in the wild so the birth of the fawn is extremely important.  Southern Pudus originate from the dense lowland forests of South Chile and South-west Argentina and as Spanish is the native language we have named the fawn, ‘Pequeño’ which means small.”

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Currently there are just 70 pudu kept in European zoo’s, the European breeding programme is managed by zoologists in Wuppertal Zoo. This recent addition brings the total number of Southern Pudus at Belfast Zoo to four! Visitors can easily spot Pequeño as fawns have white spots, which provide camouflage.


Baby Reindeer Boris Weaned in Time for Christmas!

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Three-month-old Boris quickly slurps down a bottle before prancing through his exhibit at the San Diego Zoo. San Diego Zoo keepers expect to wean the reindeer from his bottle on Christmas Day, one of the 365 days a year the Zoo is open. The little Reindeer was a surprise when he was born at the Zoo on Sept. 18 in an exclusively female Reindeer exhibit. (Scientists do not believe there was any miracle involved, though; Boris’ mother was just unexpectedly pregnant when she arrived at the Zoo in May.)

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A First for Twycross Zoo

Twycross Zoo is the only collection in the UK to exhibit and now breed the rare Tufted deer.  The small male fawn was born on 16th June 09 and weighed 1.5 kg at birth which is smaller than a bag of sugar.  Mother “Michelle” and father “Mitch” have been exceptional at rearing their first offspring.

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Zoo keepers have named the baby Ying Xiong (pronounced Ying Yong) which means hero in Chinese as this species originates from China.  The fawn is suckling from Michelle on demand and butts the teat in the same way a lamb does to stimulate the milk flow.