This tiny baby Mouse Deer was born on Valentines Day at the Berlin Zoo. It fits perfectly into a man's hand. These shy animals are actually are the smallest hoofed mammals in the world, and are members of the animal family that includes pigs, antelopes, sheep, goats, and hippos! This baby will grow to a maximum weight of only about 5 pounds (2.5 kg) in adulthood, and its legs will be no bigger than the circumference of a pencil!
Mouse Deer reach sexual maturity very early - at age five to six months. A female may give birth to a single fawn at any time of year. As is the norm with hoofed animals, newborn fawns are precocial and stand within thirty minutes of being born. The does wean their fawns at around twelve weeks. In the wild they roam mostly at night within a certain home range amid forest undergrowth, feeding on the leaves, roots and tender shoots found there, aided by their long tongue!
Photo Credit: Zoo Berlin and [email protected]
The birth of this baby at the Berlin Zoo was coordinated within the EEP (European Endangered Species Programs). In it's native home, Southeast Asia, the Mouse Deer is hunted, even though they are so small and have hardly any meat. With the good care found in a zoo, these animals can live for up to 10-12 years.
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