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.
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.