What to Know
- A mother-daughter pair of southern pudu arrived at Delaware's Brandywine Zoo from Jacksonville, Florida.
- Southern pudus, native to parts of South America, are the second smallest species of deer on Earth.
- Southern pudus are a "near threatened" species, with fewer than 10,000 remaining in the wild.
Delaware's Brandywine Zoo is now home to a pair of Southern Pudus, the second smallest species of deer on Earth.
The tiny deer, which weigh 14 to 30 pounds and stand about 14 to 18 inches tall, are native of southwestern Argentina and southern Chile. The pudu duo arrived at the Wilmington zoo from Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens in Florida.
The pair relocated as part of an Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plan recommended move. They now reside in a redesigned exhibit area with ground vegetation and tree canopy alongside two tree-dwelling toco toucans.
The cute new zoo residents are a mother-daughter pair named Chloe and Clover. Although Clover is only 1 year old, she is fully grown making it hard to tell her apart from her mother.
The little pudus have short, reddish brown coats with lighter legs and underparts, as well as short tails. Fawns have white spots and males have roughly three-inch-long antlers.
The small deer are "near threatened" on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources Red List of threatened species. Researchers believe that there may be fewer than 10,000 Southern Pudus in the wild, and there are under 200 in zoos.
Wild pudus are threatened by habitat destruction from deforestation. In Chile, over 90% of former pudu habitat has been lost. Pudus also face threats from humans who hunt them for food and take them from the wild to sell them as pets.
The Brandywine Zoo is currently undergoing significant changes as part of its "Our Zoo Re-Imagined" plan. Many exhibits have been revised, enlarged and enriched.
Other zoo residents include red pandas, goats, eagles, porcupines, Florida bobcat, western burrowing owls, and green tree python.
The Brandywine Zoo is also open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. All visitors are required to wear masks and remain socially distanced from others. Click here to buy tickets and see the pudu pair for yourself.