Edinburgh Zoo has welcomed the arrival of one of the world’s rarest and smallest deer fawns.

Weighing just 630g when born, less than a loaf of bread, the two-week-old Southern pudu fawn has melted zookeepers’ hearts.

Born to first-time parents Violetta and Evan on Wednesday, 22nd May, keepers at Edinburgh Zoo have called the fawn Gia.

She will stand at a maximum of just 73cm tall when she is fully grown.

The adorable newborn joins her parents as the zoo’s collection of three of the smallest species of deer in the world.

Southern pudus are very elusive, classified as Near Threatened on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Red List, and are native to the forests of Chile and Argentina.

They are short and stocky in stature, and their antlers grow mostly backwards, giving them a look similar to mountain goats.


The Herald:

Despite their small size, pudus are very agile and known to zig-zag to avoid predators.

The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland’s (RZSS) Edinburgh Zoo has shared the first images of Gia and proudly showcasing the fawn.

Jonny Appleyard, hoofstock team leader at Edinburgh Zoo, said: "We are so excited to welcome Violetta and Evan's fawn, Gia. Pudus are the smallest deer in the world – so you can just imagine how tiny a newborn is.

"First-time mum Violetta is doing an excellent job and has taken to motherhood really well.  Gia is healthy and growing in confidence - and size - every day and we can't wait for our visitors to see her.

"Wild populations of Southern pudu are unfortunately declining rapidly due to habitat loss and hunting, so this birth is incredible news for the species."

Pudu’s coats are a dark chestnut-brown with Gia sporting white spotting across her back, leaving the fawn looking reminiscent of cartoon icon Bambi.

However, the white spots that would act as camouflage in the wild will disappear as Gia matures and soon resembles her parents.

She will be off-show for the first few weeks of her life, but visitors will be able to spot her exploring under the watchful eye of Violetta soon.

Visitors can book tickets to the zoo online.