Behold the Pudu: The World’s Smallest Deer

Tiny animals don't get more precious than this little doe

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Julie Larsen Maher © WCS

An endangered Southern Pudu, the smallest deer species, is seen at the Wildlife Conservation Society's Queens Zoo in New York on July 9, 2013.

Love miniature animals? Now you can add one to your list of adorable: the endangered southern pudu, which is the world’s smallest deer. A female pudu, otherwise known as a doe, was born on Monday at the Queens Zoo, weighing only one pound. It was the first pudu ever born at the zoo, which also shelters the doe’s parents. Regular adult deer generally weigh between 70 and 700 pounds, but this doe won’t exceed 20 pounds once it is full grown. When the fawn gets past its nursing stage, it switches to a vegan diet of fresh leaves, grains, kale, carrots and hay.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Southern pudu are a unique species: Their miniature stature allows them to excel in jumping, sprinting and climbing. If there is a threat of danger, it barks, and in the event of a life-or-death chase, it runs in a zig-zag pattern to lose whoever is on its tail. With its little button nose and puppy-like eyes, you may be tempted to take the teensy deer home with you, especially since the species is experiencing major losses in habitat. But the doe’s home for now is in Flushing (although the species is native to Chile and Argentina.)

If you get a chance to make it to the Queens zoo, don’t forget to say bienvenidos to its latest member.

An endangered Southern Pudu, the world's smallest deer, is seen at a zoo in New York

Shannon Stapleton / REUTERS

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