A male Southern Pudu was born at the L.A. Zoo on December 19, 2018.
The tiny fawn was born to first-time parents, Steph and Mario. The playful newborn may be difficult for visitors to spot in its habitat. According to keepers, he likes to spend a lot of time tucked away, close to mom.
The Pudús consist of two species of South American deer from the genus Pudu, and they are known as the world’s smallest deer. Pudús range in size from 32 to 44 centimeters (13 to 17 in) tall, and grow up to 85 centimeters (33 in) long.
The Northern Pudú (Pudu mephistophiles) is found in Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. The Southern Pudú (Pudu puda) is native to southern Chile and southwestern Argentina.
As of 2009, the Southern Pudu remains classified as “Near Threatened”, while the Northern Pudu is currently classified as “Vulnerable” on the IUCN Red List.
As a member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the Los Angeles Zoo participates in the Species Survival Plan (SSP) for the Southern Pudu, whose population is declining in the wild.