LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Tufted deer are a threatened species in their native China, at risk of becoming endangered, but a new member of the species has just been born at Lansing’s Potter Park Zoo.
The female fawn was born April 10 to parents Lucy and Dezi. She weighed about 3.7 pounds and had a challenging first week of life, but is doing better now.
“The fawn was found to have failure of passive transfer and she needed supplemental colostrum and antibiotics, but now appears to be doing well,” said Dr. Ronan Eustace, director of animal health at the zoo.
“Due to her initial condition, we will continue to monitor her growth and development closely,” he continued.
The new fawn’s species’ struggles in China are attributed to loss of their natural habitat and to hunting.
The Tufted Deer Species Survival Plan (SSP) helped with Lucy and Dezi’s pairing at Potter Park Zoo. The SSP program assists in maintaining genetic diversity and healthy populations of many species in zoos that are accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).
“The birth of this fawn is both exciting and rewarding,” said hoofstock keeper lead Kim Hernandez.
“By successfully breeding, we are contributing to the protection and preservation of this species for future generations to appreciate and enjoy.”
The fawn was born with a full coat of fur and white spots. Zoo staffers say she’s showing her independence and curiosity.
She remains under her mother, Lucy’s care, as female tufted deer raise their children without help from their mates.
Lucy and the fawn are indoors right now, but visitors can follow her on social media.