Asian "Bambi" born in Britain in latest boost to save endangered deer

Source: Xinhua| 2018-02-03 04:17:45|Editor: yan
Video PlayerClose

LONDON, Feb.2 (Xinhua) -- A baby Philippine spotted deer has made her first public appearance at northern England's Chester Zoo where conservationists are working to save the species from extinction.

The cute fawn was led by mom Tala and dad Bulan, adding to the remaining few thousand deers existing on earth.

Chester Zoo is part of an acclaimed breeding program set up at the request of the Philippine government which is working to conserve the amazing animals.

The zoo's new arrival is the latest to be born to an acclaimed conservation breeding program which is working to ensure a healthy and genetically viable back-up population of the animals in Europe.

The deers have already become extinct on a number of islands in the Philippines, largely due to intensive illegal hunting and huge deforestation. They can now only be found in forests on the islands of Panay and Negros.

Also known as the Visayan spotted deer, zoo conservationists have also been supporting efforts to protect and restore the deers' habitat in the Philippines for more than 10 years, where they have also helped to establish specialist breeding centres.

As well as breeding animals for future reintroductions, these centres are vital hubs for training, research and education and for increasing awareness of the species amongst local communities.

Tim Rowlands, curator of mammals at Chester Zoo, said: "Every Philippine spotted deer birth is very special indeed. Globally, this is a species that is under severe threat, pushed to the very brink by a rapidly expanding human population and increasing levels of illegal poaching and habitat destruction.

"We won't stand back and let a beautiful animal like this simply disappear forever though. The zoo is, crucially, fighting to protect the Philippine spotted deer in its homeland, while the arrival of this calf is another significant and important step in the conservation of the species and for the back-up population in Europe.

"Mom Tala has done a fabulous job up to now and her fawn is looking strong, with a fantastic healthy coat featuring prominent white spots and striking blue eyes," said the curator.