Who Knew a Pudu was the Smallest Deer in the World?
June 12, 2013
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.
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.