Rare Javan chevrotain mouse-deer born at Marwell Zoo

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media captionThe Javan chevrotain was born weighing about 370g (13oz)

A rare mouse-deer - one of the smallest hoofed animals in the world - has been born at a Hampshire zoo.

The Javan chevrotain was born weighing 370g (13oz) at Marwell Zoo near Winchester, which is currently closed to the public due to the pandemic.

The nocturnal creatures are hunted and traded as pets and as wild meat in their native Indonesia.

Keepers said the youngster was born to parents Gus and Gwen in the zoo's tropical house and was "doing well".

image copyrightMarwell Zoo
image captionKeepers said the youngster was born to parents Gus and Gwen in the zoo's tropical house

Tim Rowlands, from the zoo, said: "All deer species will hide their young until they are older, so they will only really come out to feed then hide again.

"There are very few zoos who care for any of the mouse deer species as they are so small in size, very secretive, and nocturnal, so any youngster born is great news for the conservation breeding programme."

Its not known exactly how many of the animals live in the wild on the Indonesian island of Java.

When born, the young are the size of a rat and can run and jump soon after birth. The young suckle only occasionally, and only at night.

Marwell Zoo, which is home to more than 140 species, is currently closed to the public because of lockdown restrictions.

It lost £4m in revenue during 2020 and is running a crowd funding appeal to help meet its monthly costs of more than £200,000.

Four people were recently arrested after property at the zoo was damaged and animals abused during a late-night break-in.

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