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Bristol Zoo celebrates birth of tiny deer

Pudu fawns have distinctive white spotted markings on their backs. Credit: Press Association

A baby from the world's smallest species of deer has been born in Bristol Zoo Gardens. The pudu deer, now 12 days old, weighs just two pounds and is part of an international breeding programme to protect vulnerable species.

Pudus live in lowland temperate rainforests in Chile and south-western Argentina, and their numbers have declined recently due to deforestation and hunting by natural predators. When fully grown pudus stand at only 15 inches at the shoulder, and weigh between 20lb and 33lb.

Lynsey Bugg, assistant curator for mammals at Bristol Zoo Gardens, said:

"Its early days so we don't yet know whether the fawn is male or female.

"Over the coming weeks we expect to see the fawn becoming more confident and venturing out into the paddock."