The baby mouse-deer weighed about 200 grammes at birth. / bioparc fuengirola

Meet the newest member of the Bioparc Fuengirola family

The mouse-deer is the smallest ruminant in the world and the new arrival currently weighs about 200 grammes but will be around 1.5 kilos when fully grown

EUROPA PRESS Malaga

The Bioparc Fuengirola family continues to grow and the newest member to be welcomed into the world is one of the smallest ruminants on the planet: the Java mouse-deer.

At birth, these fawns are already about 30% of their mother’s size and weigh around 200 grammes. They are able to stand up after just a few minutes and able to move around quickly, but visitors are unlikely to see this new arrival for a while as it will remain hidden most of the time.

These are rather solitary and shy animals who like to go unnoticed, but when fully grown they weigh between 1.5 and 1.8 kilos. Despite this breed being part of different biological programmes, mouse-deer are still a great unknown for the scientific community. Because they are so tiny there is little fieldwork in their natural habitat, although it has been ascertained that there are six species with multiple subspecies distributed in the dense and remote forests of South Asia.

Bioparc Fuengirola is one of the few zoological parks to have successfully bred the mouse-deer as part of the European Programme for Endangered Species, which it joined in 2003. In those nearly 20 years, 16 mouse-deer have been born in captivity there.