ROYAL OAK (CBS Detroit) – Come one, come all. The Detroit Zoo have a new baby animal to get near and “deer” to – a female Chilean pudu, which is the smallest species of deer.
Born September 7, the fawn is the fourth pudu to be born at the Zoo since the species’ introduction in 2008.
This fawn’s parents, 5-year-old Carol and 6-year-old T. Roy, were paired at the recommendation of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP) for pudus.
“This fawn is a significant contribution to a small zoo population of this unique and little-studied Andean deer,” said Robert Lessnau, Detroit Zoological Society Curator of Mammals in a release. “She is doing very well and, weather permitting, can been seen daily in the pudu habitat with her parents.”
Wild pudus can be found near the giant anteaters and bush dogs — two other South American mammals.
The Chilean, or southern, pudu (Pudu puda) can reach a height of 18 inches at the shoulder and weigh up to 25 pounds at maturity. The tiny species of deer has reddish-brown fur and diminutive features, including rounded ears, small black eyes and short legs. The male is distinguished by a pair of short spiked antlers, which are shed annually in July.
Found in the temperate rainforests of southern Chile and Argentina, the pudu is a solitary animal that is mostly active during the early morning, late afternoon and evening hours. It feeds on leaves, twigs, bark, buds, fruit and seeds in its natural habitat.
The Detroit Zoo is open daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. through October and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. November through March. Admission is $14 for adults 15 to 61, $12 for senior citizens 62 and older, and $9 for children 2 to 14 (children under 2 are free). For more information, call (248) 541-5717 or visit www.detroitzoo.org.