An endangered Philippine spotted deer has been born at Newquay Zoo, the first for this species across the whole of Europe this year. Globally, this is one of the most threatened deer species, the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) class the status of this species as endangered. There are fewer than 2,500 thought to be left in the wild due to intensive hunting and extensive deforestation.
Zoo keepers at Newquay Zoo celebrated the arrival. Delighted by the new birth, Head Keeper Sam Harley commented: “This is a massive boost for the species. Both mother and baby are doing well and we are really happy with their progress, mother is doing a fantastic job and it’s great to see her protecting her little one. Having a second male in the group is great news – we are really proud!”
The Philippine spotted deer usually grows to become around 60 – 80cm tall – so not much larger than some dogs. Their brown fur is soft and dense, featuring lighter spots on the flanks. Only the males have antlers; it usually takes them around 12 months to grow these.
Philippine spotted deer are most commonly known to live in small groups of around 5 to 8. Their diet usually consists of leaves, stems and vegetation in the wild. At Newquay Zoo their diet is much similar, they also feed on fresh greens such as cabbage and vegetables like carrot and mushrooms.
Newquay Zoo has been home to a total of 12 Philippine spotted deer over the last 8 years, 8 of which have been born at the Zoo. Being such a globally threatened species they are proud to be the first zoo to record a birth of the species this year.