A Visayan Spotted Deer, which is believed to be one of the rarest mammals in the world, has been born at RZSS Edinburgh Zoo.
The latest arrival will join the conservation breeding program aimed at safeguarding this endangered species, which is thought to be extinct in over 95% of its native habitat.
The male fawn, which is yet to be named by keepers, was born in early June and has been delighting visitors as he enjoys exploring his enclosure. The youngster will stay close to his mother, Summer, for around six months before becoming more independent.
Karen Stiven, senior keeper at Edinburgh Zoo, said, “It is very exciting to have a fawn born at the zoo. The Visayan Spotted Deer is facing severe threats from intensive hunting and land clearing for agriculture.”
Found only on the Visayan islands in the Philippines, the species is thought to be one of the most narrowly distributed mammals on the planet, with possibly just a few hundred remaining in the wild.
“This makes each addition to the breeding programme a positive step towards a genetically stable population, which may need to be introduced to the wild in the future,” said Stiven.