03 January 2013

The baby pudu, who is now just seven weeks old, is part of an international conservation breeding programme to protect the species.

The tiny deer, named by his keepers as Thor, weighed less than a bag of sugar (900g) when he was born to his mum Serena and dad Odin.

Keeper Sarah Roffe said:

“Despite being small in stature, pudu are very, very good sprinters. And what they lack in size, they make up for in strategy – running in zigzags to try and escape from less nimble predators.”

The pudu originates from the rainforest areas in Chile and south-western Argentina and is considered a vulnerable species.

Numbers have declined due in part to their rainforest habitat being destroyed and cleared for cattle ranching and other human developments.

 

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 • Thor was born on 19/6/13 • Thor also has the distinctive white spotted markings on his back to help camouflage them from predators, which include pumas and foxes