Philippine Spotted Deer just Born in England is the Rarest Animals, Only Hundreds Left in Wild

A Philippine spotted deer, one of the world’s rarest animals, has been born to the delight of conservationists at Chester Zoo in England. The adorable fawn was born in September weighing 4.4 pounds (2kg).

Now standing 12 inches tall (30cm), he has taken his first steps outdoors in their new enclosure alongside his doting parents—Nova and Cosmos.

As part of a special breeding program, the birth is said to provide a much-needed boost to an ultra-rare species classified as ‘highly endangered’ in the wild.

The tiny new arrival is part of conservation efforts between zoos in Europe, set up at the request of the Philippine government to ensure future survival of the species.

Zookeepers have decided to name him after the constellation of stars, Hercules. “After eagerly waiting 240 days for his arrival, it was a huge relief when we saw a little bundle of fur curled up next to mum Nova one morning,” said Emma Evison, team manager at the zoo.

“She’s a great mum and has been doing everything perfectly so far – feeding him every few hours and keeping him right by her side.”

The new arrival is part of a vital conservation breeding program between zoos in Europe, set up at the request of the Philippine government to ensure the future survival of the Philippine spotted deer –Chester Zoo/SWNS

“We have a team tradition of naming newborn deer within the theme of ‘space’ and, given the importance of our new arrival to his species, we decided to name him Hercules, after the constellation of stars.

“Philippine spotted deer are incredibly rare and their decline has, for the most part, flown under the radar and only a few hundred now remain in the wild. “Every birth is therefore absolutely critical in boosting the safety-net population in conservation zoos across Europe.”

Rare Philippine spotted deer born at the zoo! | Chester Zoo

Stuart Young, regional field program manager for South East Asian Islands at the zoo, added “Philippine spotted deer have already disappeared across many parts of the Visayan islands, where they were once found roaming in large herds.

“Hunting and deforestation has led to the animals now only being found on two small islands, the islands of Panay and Negros. As a result of conservation efforts, however, 32 Philippine spotted deer were safely reintroduced into a protected nature reserve in 2020.

“Since then, a number of births in the wild has almost doubled the population and we’re very happy to report that they are thriving.” Hercules still has lots of growing to do but his caretakers hope he will eventually live up to his moniker, and help carry the species on his spotted back.

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