• Spain's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Hamster-sized deer born at Spanish zoo

Steve Tallantyre · 23 Apr 2014, 14:33

Published: 23 Apr 2014 14:33 GMT+02:00

The newborn deer weighed 100 grams and was described as "no bigger than a hamster" by staff at the Bioparc Fuengirola in the south of Spain .

Adult members of the rarely seen Tragulus javanicus species rarely weigh over a kilo but, despite their name, grow to the size of small rabbits.

They do, however, have a rodent-like appearance, with large eyes and a small nose. Although they lack antlers, the males possess tusk-like upper canine teeth which they can use to defend themselves.

Experts describe the animals as fiercely intelligent, and the species represents wisdom in many local legends.

The Southeast Asian animals are nocturnal and very difficult to spot in their natural tropical forest and mangrove habitat where they live near water on a diet of plants.

Deforestation and habitat destruction in Java and Bali is known to have affected the population of the species but it is officially classed as 'data deficient'.

The deer are also regularly hunted and trapped to be eaten as a delicacy, as well as for their pelts and for sale as pets.

There are only 43 Java mouse-deer in Europe and this is the eighth such animal to be born as part of Fuegirola Bioparc's conservation programme, which has been active since 2006.

Story continues below…

The baby's mother was also born at the zoo.

Mother and baby Java mouse-deer at Fuengirola Bioparc.

Don't miss stories about Spain, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Steve Tallantyre (news@thelocal.es)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
General Election
PP win most seats and PSOE cling on to second place
Celebrations outside PP headquarters in Madrid. Photo: AFP

The results this time round were much the same as they were last December meaning further deadlock could be on the cards.

Spanish elections: What are the possible outcomes?
The leaders of Spain's four main parties. Photo: AFP

Spaniards cast ballots for the second time in six months in repeat polls on Sunday that may see the conservatives remain in power, even if many vote for left-wing parties.

Spain holds general election rerun amid Brexit after-shocks
The leader of Podemos casts his vote. Photo: AFP

Just days after a shock Brexit, Spaniards voted in repeat elections Sunday to decide if they too want a radical shift as promised by a far-left coalition led by Podemos.

Spain's Gasol heading to Rio Olympics despite Zika fear
“My commitment to the team is bigger than the fear of what may happen,” Gasol, left, said. Photo: AFP

Spanish basketball star Pau Gasol will go to the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, he announced in comments published Saturday, after considering skipping the Games due to fears over the Zika virus.

Radicalism or safety first? Spain wavers before vote
Podemos leader, Pablo Iglesias, on the campaign trail last week. Photo: AFP

How will the far-left do in Spain's second general election in six months?

Brexit
Brexit: fresh calls for Catalan vote on secession from Spain
Separatists in the northeastern Spanish region of Catalonia have for years lobbied for an independence referendum. Photo: AFP

Could Brexit lead to the fracturing of Spain?

Gibraltar stands defiant against Spain after Brexit vote
Gibraltar's First Minister said there would be no negotiating with Spain. Photo: AFP

Gibraltar's Chief Minister made very clear that the British Overseas Territory would not bow to pressure from Spain after Brexit.

Brexit
Anxiety over Brexit damage to UK-Spain bilateral trade

The Local canvassed the views of British businesses in Spain to see what they thought about Brexit.

Brexit
View from the Costa: British expats fear time in sun is over
British people enjoy a drink on a terrace in Ohriuela. Photo: AFP

After Brexit, many British expats feared on Friday their golden time in the sun could be over...

Brexit
Black Friday: Spanish markets plummet with news of  Brexit
The IBEX has fallen 12 percent since Brexit result. Photo: AFP

Spain’s IBEX suffered the worst fall in its history on Friday after the UK voted to leave the European Union.

Sponsored Article
Education abroad: How to find an international school
Politics
Spanish elections: What are the possible outcomes?
International
Worried after Brexit? Here’s how to become Spanish
Politics
Why Spain is heading for a Groundhog day election
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
International
Brit expats in Spain stunned and fearful after Brexit win
Travel
The intern's guide to surviving a summer in Spain
National
The weird and wonderful ways Spain celebrates midsummer
National
Get your kit off! Spain's ten best nudist beaches
International
Spain REALLY wants Britain to stay in EU and here's why
National
Don't jump! Officials in Spain warn against 'balconing' craze
National
Girl's best friend: Four-year-old finds comfort with a bull
Politics
Hilarious video pokes fun at expats in Spain over Brexit
National
Top ten tricks to survive the Spanish summer
National
Spain knocked off top spot for world's best restaurant
International
Meet the Spaniard working as North Korea's secret weapon
National
Sheep invade Spanish city after shepherd takes a snooze
Features
Five brilliant ways to beat the crowds in Barcelona
National
Experts warn of jellyfish boom across Spain's beaches
Politics
Are these the weirdest political campaign ads ever?
National
Giant inflatable poo goes walkies from town square
Lifestyle
Spanish study proves fat really ISN'T bad for you
National
President Obama announces three-day visit to Spain in July
International
Couple found dead on yacht in Catalonia after 'drugs binge'
National
Hotting up! Spain set for hotter than average summer
3,373
jobs available