22 Jul 2014
A rare pudu – the world’s smallest species of deer – has been born at Chester Zoo

The baby pudu, which keepers have named Selene, is part of a European conservation breeding programme to protect the species.

Native to the temperate rainforests of Chile and south-west Argentina, the pudu is classed by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as vulnerable to extinction in the wild. 

Curator of mammals Tim Rowlands said:

Pudu numbers have declined partly due to their habitat being destroyed and cleared for cattle ranching and other human developments, as well as persecution from domestic and hunting dogs.

So they may be the world’s smallest deer but, to us, the birth of our new charge is a very big achievement. 

The youngster was born to mum Serena and dad Odin. 

Pudu facts

  • A fully grown pudu stands at 38cm (15in at the shoulder) and weighs about 9-15kg (20-33lbs)
  • A male’s antlers only grow to four inches long
  • A single youngster is born after a gestation of 210 days
  • The zoo’s new youngster – a female, named Selene by zookeepers – was born on 22/05/2014
  • Young pudu are born with distinctive white spotted markings on their backs to help camouflage them from predators, which include pumas and foxes
  • Pudu feed on new leaves and shoots of trees