World's Smallest Deer Born in Sweden
May 29, 2013
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.