Meet the latest arrival at Belfast Zoo - a Southern pudu deer
Belfast Zoo has welcomed a new arrival to the Cavehill site - a Southern Pudu, which is the world's smallest deer.
The new addition was born on June 18 to father, Mr Tumnus and mother, Susan.
The Southern pudu originates from the lowland forests of South Chile and South-west Argentina.
Adults measure only 43 centimetres in height when fully grown and, at birth, a fawn is so small that it weighs less than a bag of sugar.
Senior keeper, Allan Galway, said: “Although small in size, our fawn is massively important to Belfast Zoo and to the European breeding programme for the Southern pudu.
"The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) considers this species to be vulnerable to the threat of extinction and numbers in the wild have dramatically declined in recent years due to loss of habitat through deforestation, hunting and predation.”
Allan added: “We have been giving Susan and her new arrival some space to bond so have not yet determined the sex of the new arrival or given the fawn a name.
"When fawns are born they are a light brown colour and their fur is covered with small white spots. This helps the infant to camouflage in the undergrowth especially when they are left alone while the mother feeds.”
Belfast Zoo’s Southern pudu family share their home with some other South American amigos including Southern screamers and red howler monkeys.
Belfast Telegraph Digital