Bah! Obsessed! This is the world's tiniest deer!
We have a new obsession, Gigglers. He’s totally adorable, a little on the shy side and is partial to kale. No, we’re not talking about Jared Leto (although Leto does know his way around a kale chip).
The object of our affection is actually a baby deer that was born last month at the Queens Zoo in New York City. And you guys, he’s basically Bambi, only tinier, cuter, and indigenous to the South American rain forest.
I mean, look at him!
This little guy was born on May 12, and he’s a southern pudu. I know. What the heck is a pudu? Only the smallest deer species in the entire world.
Newborn pudus weigh less than a pound at birth and stand at under six inches tall, which means they’re even shorter than a grande-sized drink at Starbucks. Even full-grown, this little cutie will only be roughly a foot tall.
Pudus shiver when they get angry and they bark when they’re frightened, which honestly sounds a lot like a chihuahua to me. Rest assured, this particular animal’s official birth announcement came from none other than the Wildlife Conservation Society. So I trust that this precious creature is indeed a deer and not something that Elle Woods might carry around in her handbag.
For now, the baby pudu is nursing, but soon he should start enjoying a veggie-lover’s diet of “fresh leaves, grain, kale, carrots, and hay.” Once he’s noshing on kale chips, those adorable white spots on his coat will begin to fade and eventually disappear.
In the wild, southern pudus are found in the rain forests of Chile and Argentina, where they like to hang out in bamboo groves and beneath the forest underbrush and you know, basically avoid being eaten. Because they’re so tiny, pretty much everything is considered a predator. According to the zoo, pumas, small cats, foxes, and even owls pose a danger to pudus in their natural habitat. Oh deer! Luckily, pudus have some pretty stealth moves, like excellent jumping and climbing skills and running in a zigzag pattern when being chased.
Our new little deer friend won’t have to worry about predators, though. He’s part of the zoo’s Species Survival Program because the southern pudu is classified as a vulnerable species. Which makes it especially awesome that this is the third year in a row that the Queens Zoo has successfully bred a baby pudu. Way to go!