This adorable little mouse deer is a rare Javan Chevrotain – one of the smallest hoofed animals in the world – and Marwell Zoo’s newest arrival!
Weighing in at just 370 grams when born, the tiny youngster is doing well, keepers report, although interactions are minimal due to the sensitivity of the species.
Tim Rowlands, Marwell Zoo’s Hoofstock Team Leader, explains: “We separated the male and female two weeks before she gave birth so she would not be disturbed, even by him, mimicking the natural behaviour of the female taking herself away to find a quiet and secure spot to give birth in the wild. All deer species will hide their young until they are older so they will only really come out to feed then hide again.
“There are very few zoos who care for any of the mouse-deer species as they are so small in size, very secretive, and nocturnal, so any youngster born is great news for the conservation breeding programme. It’s vitally important that we work to ensure these wonderful animals do not disappear for good.”
To find out more about Marwell Zoo and the work it carries out as a conservation charity, visit www.marwell.org.uk/zoo/