ROYAL OAK— Being the smallest species of deer isn’t stopping the growing family of southern pudus at the Detroit Zoo. The herd welcomed female Noni last Sunday, marking the third pudu birth in less than two years at the zoo and the fifth since the arrival in 2008 of 6-year-old mother Carol and 7-year-old father T. Roy. The fawn joins sisters Hammie, 1, and Penny, 11 months.
“Noni is full of energy and can be seen running and leaping through the pudu habitat at times,” said Detroit Zoological Society Curator of Mammals Elizabeth Arbaugh. “She is a welcome addition to the U.S. zoo population of southern pudus, which numbers less than 40.”
Carol and T. Roy were paired at the recommendation of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plan for pudus. The SSP is a cooperative management plan to ensure genetically healthy, diverse and self-sustaining populations of threatened and endangered species.
Found in the temperate rainforests of southern Chile and Argentina, the southern pudu (Pudu puda) can reach a height of 18 inches at the shoulder and weigh up to 25 pounds at maturity. The tiny deer has reddish-brown fur and diminutive features, including rounded ears, small black eyes and short legs.
Noni can be seen daily with her family, weather permitting, in the Detroit Zoo’s pudu habitat near two other South American mammals, the giant anteaters and bush dogs.