World’s Smallest (and Cutest) Deer Born in Queens Zoo

(Julie Larsen)

(Julie Larsen Maher)

A Queens zoo has received a high dose of cuteness following the birth of an endangered southern pudu.

The animal, a Southern pudu, was recently born at the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Queens Zoo. It has yet to be named (We’re partial to Bambi.)

The young doe, weighed just one pound at birth, but could reach up to 20 pounds when fully grown. The fawn is currently nursing but will soon make the transition to fresh leaves, grain, kale, carrots and hay.

Southern pudu are the smallest breed of deer in the world. They are native to Chile and Argentina and are generally found in dense underbrush and bamboo groves. Pudu have some interesting characteristics, besides being the world’s smallest deer species, including barking when they sense danger.

Despite their diminutive stature – they only reach 12 to 14 inches at the shoulder – the deer are excellent jumpers and sprinters and are known to climb fallen trees. Pudu compensate for their small size with the use of strategic thinking, such as running in a zig-zag pattern to escape predators.

The deer are designated as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The Wildlife Conservation Society is working in the pudu’s native countries in an attempt to deal with threats to their survival such as habitat loss.

(Julie Larsen)

(Julie Larsen Maher)