Deer are, undoubtedly, some of the most adorable animals on Earth. These shy and gentle creatures always warm our hearts, but if you have ever wondered what’s cutter than a deer, then the answer is quite simple – the world’s smallest deer. Everyone meet the pudus, also known as the magical deer!
These tiny little fellas are just as large as a medium-sized dog, when full grown up, and that makes them the tiniest deer species on Earth.
Native to South America, the are actually two subspecies of the pudus, and their name comes after the habitat they live in. The northern pudu that lives in the Northern countries of Latin America – Peru, Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela. And, of course, the southern pudu that roams the wilderness of Chile and Argentina. Nevertheless, both species are just as cute.
Just as small as a dog, the pudus are 13 to 17 inches tall, and no more than 30-33 inches long!
These cute animals are vegetarians, just as all of their cousins. So their diet is made of grass, leaves, small fruits and seeds. But what makes them different from other deer species – beside their cuteness – is their unique ability to climb trees if necessary. The southern pudu is also known as the ‘Chilean mountain got,’ because of the incredible climbing abilities.
Being so small, they are extremely vulnerable in front of predators. That’s the reason why these shy and very cautious animals are always on alert. But, the pudus aren’t completely defenceless. Whenever they get chase by a predator, they go for a confusing zig-zag running, which makes them incredible hard to catch.
The pudus lifespan is between 8 to 10 years, and they’re usually solitary animals. They can only be seen together during the mating season, which is in the fall. They usually give birth to one fawn (in rare cases to two).