20/07/2018

Belfast Zoo Celebrates Birth Of World's Smallest Deer

Belfast Zoo has welcomed the birth of the world's smallest deer.

The Southern Pudu was born on 18 May.

With the arrival of Maximus, Belfast Zoo is now home to four of the deers including parents, Jess and Flynn, and their infant from 2017, Pascal.
News Image
Zoo curator, Andrew Hope, said: "Pudu are one of the smallest members of the true deer family. In fact, adult pudus measure only 43 centimetres in height when fully grown! The male grows small antlers in the breeding season and he sheds these annually. Keepers had noticed Jess was displaying signs of pregnancy and, after a gestation period of seven months, she welcomed Maximus. At birth the fawn was so small that it only weighed about 900 grams which is less than a bag of sugar. Adults have a dark brown or reddish fur but when fawns are born their fur is light brown and they are covered in small white spots. This helps the infant to camouflage in the undergrowth, especially when the mother leaves to feed."

(CD/MH)

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