A male Southern Pudú fawn born on December 19 at the Los Angeles Zoo has been named “Haechan” after a musician who, according to his fans, resembles the tiny deer species.
A member of the K-Pop group NCT, Haechan (the musician) has for many years been nicknamed “Pudú” by his fans. After the baby Pudú’s birth last month, Los Angeles Zoo staff decided to hold a Facebook fundraiser to gather support for the name. They exceeded their fundraising goal within hours.
More than $2,700 was raised. The funds will support conservation of endangered, vulnerable, threatened and near threatened species such as the Pudú, whose wild populations are decreasing due to habitat loss.
Little Haechan (the Pudú) is thriving under the care of first-time parents Steph and Mario. The tiny fawn prefers to stay close to Steph and can sometimes be difficult for zoo guests to locate. As he grows, Haechan will gain confidence and spend more time away from mom.
You can read Haechan’s birth announcement on ZooBorns here.
Both species of Pudú – Northern and Southern – are native to South America where they inhabit the dense undergrowth of temperate rain forests. Little is known about their lifestyle because they are so secretive. Pudú are the smallest species of deer in the world, with the Northern Pudú being slightly larger than the Southern Pudú. Fawns typically weigh less than three pounds at birth.
Destruction of their rain forest habitat has resulted in both Pudú species being under threat of extinction. Breeding programs like those of the Los Angeles Zoo are critical to gaining understanding of these elusive and endangered creatures.
See more photos of the Pudú fawn below.