The birth of a Philippine mouse deer or chevrotain, also known as pilandok in the Philippines, was captured for the first time on camera at a zoo in Wroclaw, Poland.
According to a Reuters report, the baby deer was born on November 10, the size of a large matchbox, and weighed 100 grams.
“For the first time ever in the history of any species of mouse deer, an actual birth was filmed and then the first moment of the life of the baby,” said Zoo Wroclow head Radoslaw Ratajszczak.
The birth of such a pilandok is important because there are only a dozen pilandok found in zoos in Europe and only one male.
Pilandok is known for its small stature, long, thin legs, and rat-like head.
“They are very prone to predators…they are quite easy to catch,” said Ratajszczak. “And they are of course, like rabbits, very tasty, unfortunately.”
It is also difficult to study pilandok because they prefer to hide in the grass and go to remote places when giving birth.
It is not yet clear what the sex of the baby Philippine mouse deer is, but the conservationist hopes it is male.
Philippine mouse-deer pilandok born in Poland zoo
The world’s smallest hoofed animal, the Philippines Mouse Deer, is found on Balabac Island in Palawan’s furthest southern reaches.
Known by locals as the pilandok, this little gem stands at only 40cm to the shoulders.
Contrary to its name, the tiny creature is not a member of the deer family, but rather to a class known as the chevrotain family.
A diet of leaves, flowers, and vegetation is the normal intake of this unique little animal.
Exact numbers of these creatures are not known, but they are considered threatened due to people wanting them as pets, human consumption (the meat is considered a delicacy), and loss of habitat.
The Philippine mouse-deer is threatened for various reasons, such as poaching and capture for the wild animal trade. Hunting has also caused a great decline in the number of individuals left. The meat is considered a delicacy on the islands, and the skin is also used to make leather.