Keepers and visitors at Newquay Zoo were delighted to see that Endangered Philippine spotted deer Belle had given birth to a healthy little fawn last weekend.
Within minutes of being born, the fawn was up on its feet and following its mother around the enclosure.
The arrival of the fawn, which is yet to be sexed, is a great success for the zoo. Male deer Neil was brought to Newquay last October with hopes that he and Belle would hit it off, and it was only a matter of months before Belle fell pregnant.
Philippine spotted deer, also known as Alfred’s deer, are one of the most endangered species of deer in the world, due to both illegal hunting and habitat destruction. However, Newquay is part of an ex-situ breeding programme run by EAZA (the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria) to help secure the future of the species, and 10 other fawns have been born at the zoo in recent years.
Dave Rich, Newquay Zoo Keeper Team Leader, said: “We were watching and waiting for Belle to give birth for several days, so it was very exciting to see that the fawn had not only arrived, but that it was out in full view and exploring its surroundings.
“Mum, dad and the baby are all happy and healthy, and can be seen spending much of their time together.”
The Philippine spotted deer enclosure can be found right in the middle of the zoo. Just around the corner, visitors will also be able to see Newquay’s other newest arrivals: two Visayan warty piglets, another highly endangered species from the same part of the world as the Philippine spotted deer.