A newborn fawn of the world’s smallest deer species joins the Queens Zoo family

_Julie Larsen Maher_1646_Pudu and Fawn_QZ_06 01 17
Photos: Julie Larsen Maher © WCS

A southern pudu fawn — the world’s smallest deer species — has joined the Queens Zoo family.

The male fawn was born on May 17 at the Queens Zoo. He has white spots that are characteristic to newborns of many deer species. As the fawn grows, the white spots will fade and will grow to be approximately 12 to 14 inches tall.

Here are a few shots of the fawn exploring his habitat:

Native to Chile and Argentina, pudu have interesting behaviors that differ from other species of deer. They bark when they sense danger, and when chased, they run in a zig-zag pattern to escape predators.

The Queens Zoo has had great success with its pudu breeding program. In the last five years, they have produced four fawns. The species has been Vulnerable by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) works with Chile and Argentina curb threats to pudu and other wildlife, including habitat loss and predation by domestic and feral animals.

Both the Queens and Bronx Zoos breed them as part of the Species Survival Plan (SSP), a cooperative breeding program designed to enhance the genetic viability and demographic stability of animal populations in zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).