This new arrival at Marwell Zoo is one of the smallest hoofed animals in the world

AN ADORABLE rare animal has been born at a Hampshire zoo.

Wednesday, 24th February 2021, 8:43 am

Marwell Zoo in Colden Common has welcomed a new arrival in the form of a javan chevrotain – otherwise known as a mouse deer.

One of the smallest hoofed animals in the world, the fawn was born to parents Gus and Gwen at the zoo's Energy for Life: Tropical House.

The tiny animal weighed rougly 370 grams at birth and keepers say the youngster is doing well, though their interactions are minimal due to the sensitivity of the species.

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The fawn is one of the smallest hoofed animals in the world. Picture: Marwell Zoo

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Tim Rowlands, Marwell Zoo’s hoofstock team leader, said: ‘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.’

In the wild, this nocturnal species is found on the island of Java in Indonesia.

When born, they are no larger than a rat, and can run and jump soon after birth.

Marwell is a conservation charity but has lost £4m in revenue due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

To support the zoo, go to justgiving.com/campaign/supportMarwell.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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