Cute and unique: miniature pudu reindeer

Pudu deer, one of the smallest members of the deer family, are found in Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Argentina and Colombia. However, due to active human persecution, these cute animals have disappeared from many regions of our planet.

The main characteristics of pudu deer include their small stature and weight. An adult individual can grow to 93 cm in length and 35 cm in height, while the weight will be no more than 11 kg. Pudu have much in common with masamas in appearance, as their back is arched, their body is covered with thick fur, and their ears are rounded and short. Miniature deer have no tail and horns are very short (up to 10 cm).

Pudu deer come in dark gray-brown and dark red-brown. Some animals have fuzzy light spots along the body and a reddish abdomen. This tiny animal of the deer family prefers to live on mountain slopes and at altitudes of up to 2,000 meters. The mammals like hidden areas and wildernesses.

Pudu deer are noted for their cautiousness and stealthiness. Their activity period begins in the morning and ends at night. Individuals live either alone or in pairs. Each deer has its own small territory in which it lives.

Pudu love to eat tree bark, branches, succulent grass and fresh leaves, as well as fruits and seeds. With this diet, pudu deer can go without liquids for long periods of time. Sometimes, because of their small height, pudu can’t reach the branches where succulent fruits are growing.

Starting at the age of six months, females can breed. The search for a mate occurs closer to fall. Pregnancy lasts for 200-223 days. The result is a small calf (the only one) weighing less than 0.5 kilograms. During the first days the calf is very weak and visits its mother periodically to feed it. After a few weeks, the cub can already come out of the shelter and follow its mother. In 90 days, the cub becomes an adult.

Despite their tiny size, the little pudu deer play an important role in the biodiversity of the regions in which they live. Their active persecution by humans has led to population declines and the disappearance of animals from many regions. However, thanks to the efforts of wildlife conservation organizations, pudu deer are protected in their natural habitat.

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