Pudu

Shy Pudu Fawn Born at Bristol Zoo

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A baby Pudu, the world's smallest species of deer, was born at the United Kingdom’s Bristol Zoo in May.

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Photo Credit:  Bob Pitchford

Weighing only about two pounds at birth, Pudu fawns have distinctive white-spotted markings on their backs, which help provide camouflage from predators. Because the zoo staff can’t get too close to the fawn yet, they don’t know its gender.  The fawn is being raised by its mother.

Pudus are native to lowland temperate rainforests in Chile and southwest Argentina.  They are usually active at night, when they emerge to feed on leaves, bark, and fallen fruit.  In the wild, Pudu populations are declining as their rain forest habitat is cleared for cattle ranching and other human development.  The Bristol Zoo participates in an international conservation breeding program for the species. Pudus are classified as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. 

See more photos of the Pudu fawn below.

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Pudú Fawns Enjoy Spring at Zoo Berlin

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Visitors to Zoo Berlin can enjoy the spring weather, while watching the Southern Pudu fawns roam their exhibit with the rest of their group. The fawns, a male and female, were born in the early spring and are still sporting the spotted coats of their youth.

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Csm_Pudunachwuchs_Zoo_Berlin_April_2015_Karl_Broeseke_5c1c4fe6bdPhoto Credits: Zoo Berlin

“That Pudu live together in groups, at the Zoo, is quite unusual,” reveals Tobias Rahde, Curator for Deer, at Zoo Berlin. “In nature, more than two Pudu are never sighted together. The Pudu group in Zoo Berlin is apparently in unusual harmony.”

The Pudu is the world’s smallest deer. It consists of two subspecies of South American deer from the genus Pudu: the Northern Pudu (native to Columbia, Ecuador, and Peru) and the Southern Pudu (found in Chile and southwestern Argentina). They inhabit temperate rainforests, where the dense underbrush and bamboo thickets offer protection from predators.

The Pudu grows to a max height of 13 to 17 inches (32 to 44cm) at the shoulder and up to 33 inches (85cm) in length. They normally weigh up to 26 lbs (12 kg).  Males have short, spiked antlers that are not forked. The antlers, which shed annually, can extend from 2.6 to 3 inches (6.5 to 7.5 cm) in length. Coat coloration varies with season, gender, and individual genes. The fur is long, stiff and reddish-brown to dark-brown in hue.

Pudus are solitary and do not, normally, interact with one another, unless during mating season. Easily frightened, they bark when in fear, and their fur bristles when angered.

Wild predators include: the Horned Owl, Andean Fox, Magellan Fox, Cougar, and other small cats. The Pudu is often slow-moving, but they are quite proficient climbers, jumpers, and sprinters when being pursued. Their lifespan, in the wild, ranges from 8 to 10 years.

Pudus are herbivorous and can survive without drinking water for long periods due to the high water content of the foliage they consume.

In their native habitat, their mating season occurs in the Southern Hemisphere’s autumn, from April to May. Gestation ranges from 202 to 223 days (about 7 months), with the average being 210 days. A single offspring or sometimes twins are born in austral spring, from November to January. Fawns have a reddish-born fur, and Southern Pudu fawns have white spots running the length of their backs. Young are weaned after 2 months and are considered fully-grown at 3 months, but may stay with their mothers for 8 to 12 months.

Both species of Pudus are classified as “Endangered” on the IUCN Red List, due mainly to overhunting and habitat loss. Efforts to preserve the species are being taken before they become extinct. An international captive-breeding program for the Southern Pudu, led by Concepcion University, in Chile, has been started. Deer have been successfully bred in captivity and reintroduced into Nahuel Huapi National Park, in Argentina. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species has banned the international trading of Pudus. 


Keepers Step in to Hand Rear Little Pudu Fawn

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Scarlet the Pudu fawn at Edinburgh Zoo has been keeping her keepers busy with around the clock bottle feeds.

The newborn Southern Pudu sadly lost her mother at two and a half weeks, but her dedicated keepers stepped in to hand-rear the tiny fawn. Hoofstock keeper,Liah Etemad, said: “Sadly Scarlet lost her mother at a really young age after birth exasperated an underlying untreatable condition. It was touch and go for a while for the fawn as she was being mother reared, but her keeper’s have worked around the clock to nourish and nurture the little fawn and she is doing so well now.

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“Scarlet started on seven to eight bottled feeds of milk each day, getting her first feed early in the morning, throughout the day and then into the early hours. She is steadily gaining weight each day. During the first week after mum died she was cared for solely by her keepers, but then at four weeks she was reintroduced to her dad Normski. We were all delighted how well it went and the two were soon cuddled up together in the evenings and he maintains a watchful eye over her during the day. The fact she and her father have bonded so well means that he is teaching her natural Pudu behaviour."

“It has taken a lot of time and commitment from keepers, and at seven weeks old we are still giving her a small number of bottles during the day, but we could not be happier to see little Scarlet thrive. She has done so well that visitors are able to see her with dad at our Pudu enclosure at Edinburgh Zoo.”

Southern Pudus are normally found in southern Chile and south-western Argentina and are actually the world’s smallest deer. When fully grown they stand only at 38cm high and weigh around 9 to 15kg. Adults are reddish to dark brown and fawns have spots until they are a few months old. Females tend to give birth to a single fawn weighing around 1kg, which is weaned at around two months. Pudu are classified as a vulnerable species as their numbers have declined due to their primary rainforest habitat being destroyed and cleared for cattle ranching and other human developments.


Tiny Pudu Fawn Born at Chester Zoo

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A fawn from the smallest species of deer in the world has been born at the United Kingdom's Chester Zoo.  The baby Southern Pudu, who was born on June 19, is part of an international conservation breeding program to protect this endangered species.

The tiny deer, named Thor by his keepers, weighed less than two pounds (900g) when he was born to his mom Serena and dad Odin.   A fully-grown Pudu is only 15 inches (38 cm) tall at the shoulders.

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Photo Credit:  Chester Zoo

Keeper Sarah Roffe said, “Despite being small in stature, Pudu are very, very good sprinters. And what they lack in size, they make up for in strategy – running in zigzags to try and escape from less nimble predators.”

The Pudu is native to the rainforests of Chile and Argentina. Their numbers have declined due in part to their rainforest habitat being destroyed and cleared for cattle ranching and other human developments.


One-Pound Pudu Fawn Born at Queens Zoo

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A rare Southern Pudu, the world’s smallest species of deer, was born at the Wildlife Conservation Society's (WCS) Queens Zoo in New York.  The young doe weighed one pound at her birth on July 8th, and could weigh as much as 20 pounds as an adult. The fawn is still nursing but will soon transition to fresh leaves, grain, kale, carrots, and hay.

Pudu are extraordinary creatures. Although small in stature, only 12 to 14 inches at the shoulder, Pudu are excellent jumpers, sprinters, and climbers. What the Pudu lacks in size, it makes up in strategy: when chased, Pudu run in a zigzag pattern to escape predation. They will bark when they sense danger and can climb fallen trees. 

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Photo Credit: Julie Larsen Maher / WCS

Southern Pudu are native to Chile and Argentina, and are designated Vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List of Threatened Species. Using research and conservation practices, WCS is working in the Pudu’s range countries to grapple with habitat loss and other threats to wildlife. Visit WCS's website if you're interested in making a donation to help save wildlife and wild places.


Tiny Southern Pudu Fawn Born at Detroit Zoo

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The latest big thing at the Detroit Zoo is actually quite small. A female Southern Pudu, the smallest species of deer, was born on May 20th. The fawn is the fifth Pudu born at the zoo since the species was introduced in 2008. 

The fawn is a welcome addition to the captive population of Pudus, according to Detroit Zoological Society Curator of Mammals Robert Lessnau. “There are less than thirty Pudus in U.S. zoos, so this birth is significant, especially since the baby is a female.” 

The fawn joins her parents, 6-year-old Carol and 7-year-old T. Roy, and sister Hamill Girl – born in 2012 – in their habitat near two other South American mammals, the giant anteaters and bush dogs. 

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Photo credits: first photo by Lee Fisher, second photo by Patti Truesdell

Found in the temperate rainforests of southern Chile and Argentina, the Southern Pudu can reach a height of 18 inches at the shoulder and weigh up to 25 pounds at maturity.  The tiny deer has reddish-brown fur and diminutive features, including rounded ears, small black eyes and short legs. Fawns are weaned at two months old, and reach their full adult size at three months old. The Southern Pudu is listed as ‘threatened’ on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. A decrease in available habitat, subsistence hunting and poaching for the exotic pet trade contribute to their decline. Additional factors include predation by domestic dogs and competition with non-native species of deer. 

Who Knew a Pudu was the Smallest Deer in the World?

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This little Southern Pudu baby was born at Sweden's Parken Zoo to parents Odense and André. Keepers weighed the baby and the scale showed 2 pounds (1.36 kg).  In the wild, a baby usually remains hidden in the first days of life, only emerging to nurse when the mother visits. After a few weeks, it joins its mother in her normal range, staying with her for about eight to 12 months. This baby will lose its white spots once it's about 3 to 5 months old. At 8 months, males begin growing their first spike antlers, which eventually reach 2-4 inches (5-10 cm) high when they are 7 years old.

The Southern Pudu is an endangered species. Their future in the wild remains uncertain, as their natural habitat is diminished due to overpopulation, clearing of land for agriculture, logging, hunting and other human activities. Helping conserve the species through zoo efforts is therefore key.

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Photo Credit: Parken Zoo

Southern Pudu are normally active at twilight and during the night. The live in dense underbrush and bamboo thickets. Considered the smallest species of deer in the world, their small stature aids them greatly in escaping their predators. With it's short legs and it's body mass so close to the ground, the Southern Pudu can easily zig zag through dense vegitation and rocks when pursued.Pudus tend to live alone or in pairs. These deer are almost never found in groups of more than three animals. 


World's Smallest Deer Born in Sweden

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Photo credit: Tom Svensson / Nordens Ark

On April 30th, Nordens Ark in Sweden welcomed a pint sized baby, a male Southern Pudu. It is the sixth fawn born at the zoo since it began housing and breeding the species eight years ago in an effort to help conserve this tiny South American deer species. The little boy has been spending his days in an enclosure with his parents for visitors to see. You can get a glimpse of the little guy in the video below!

 

Pudu, native to South America, are known for being the smallest species of deer measuring under a foot and a half tall and around 25 pounds. They are separated into two subspecies, the Northern Pudu and the Southern Pudu. The southern variety can be found on the slopes of the Southern Andes at elevations up to 6,600 feet.  They live in temperate rain forests, using their small size to help them take cover in undergrowth to avoid predators. They live on a herbivorous diet that includes a wide range of different types of plant matter. 

Both subspecies of Pudu are classified as "vulnerable" by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) due to overhunting and habitat loss. Zoos around the world are helping to conserve this species through captive breeding programs and re-introduction efforts. 

 


How Do You Do, Little Pudu?

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A tiny female Pudu fawn was born at the Detroit Zoo on September 7 to parents T. Roy and Carol.  Weighing only 2.3 pounds (1.06 kg) at birth, the diminutive deer is the fourth Pudu born at the zoo since 2008.

Due to habitat loss, Pudus are listed as Threatened by the IUCN.  Many programs are underway to protect Pudus from possible extinction, including releasing Pudus born in South American zoos back to their wild habitat.

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Pudus are the world's smallest deer species.  Weighing only about 26 pounds and standing 15 inches at the shoulder as adults, Pudus live in South America's temperate rain forests.  They feed on leaves and fruit as they move through the dense underbrush, and rarely need to drink due to the high water content of their diet.  Little is konwn about Pudus in the wild, because they inhabit remote regions on mountain slopes at relatively high elevations over 6,000 feet.  Despite their small size, they are agile climbers and jumpers.

Photo & Video Credits:  Lee Ann Fisher & Patti Truesdell


Much ado over baby Pudu!

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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."

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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

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