New York zoo welcomes tiny deer fawn

A tiny pudu fawn, the world’s smallest species of deer, has been born at a New York City zoo.

The southern pudu was born at Queens Zoo on May 12, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) announced Monday.

At birth, pudu are just 6 inches tall and 6 inches long and weigh less than a pound, according to media reports. The deer grow to a shoulder height of between 12 and 14 inches.

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The male fawn is still nursing but will soon transition to a diet of fresh leaves, grain, kale, carrots and hay, said the WCS, in a statement. “The white spots, characteristic to juveniles of many deer species, will fade and disappear as the fawn gets older,” it added.

Native to Chile and Argentina, pudu will bark when they sense danger, according to the WCS. When chased, the deer run in a zig-zag pattern to escape predators including owls, foxes, pumas, and small cats. Shy and solitary creatures, pudu will often hide in thick vegetation.

With the cute new arrival, there are now three pudu on exhibit at Queens Zoo. “This is the third year in a row this pair has successfully raised a fawn,” noted the WCS.

Pudu are bred at the zoo as part of the Species Survival Program.