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Animals

Kidadl Team

AUGUST 05, 2021

The Pudu: 15 Facts You Won’t Believe!

One of the most fun Pudu facts is that they are referred to as the "Cousin of Bambi" in popular culture

Are you looking for a cute animal to fawn over? Then the Pudú fawn might be a great idea for you! The Pudú, also called the Pudu deer, is the world's smallest deer. This means even the males come up to be barely 18 in tall and a male could probably fit in your arms! These little animals are found in parts of South America. Known for its size and cuteness, the Pudú animal has had many people fawn over it over the years. You can see them in a zoo, but they are most commonly found in the wild, and during their mating season, can also be seen in groups and pairs Do you want to know more about their mating habits, or their life in a zoo? Then read on because you have reached the one-stop guide for all things Pudu. If you think you enjoy reading about unique deers you might also be interested in reindeer and axis deer.

Pudu Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a pudu?

The Southern pudu and the Northern pudu are species of deer.

What class of animal does a pudu belong to?

The Southern pudu belongs to the mammal class.

How many pudus are there in the world?

Due to a lack of research, there is no complete data about the number of the Southern pudus. However, they do fall in the endangered category and conservation efforts are underway to revive their population. However, when considering the Pudu population which is in a zoo, the number comes out to be at least a hundred.

Where does a pudu live?

Since they are mostly herbivorous, the Southern pudus are usually found living in the woods. They benefit from the under shrubs, the grasses, and stout vegetation that is at the perfect height for them to eat. They

What is a pudu's habitat?

The Southern pudus are found in the forests of southern Argentina and Chile. As such, they prefer woodlands with dense underbrush, lots of bamboo thickets, and areas with ground-level vegetation which they can eat.

Who do pudus live with?

The Southern pudus are very solitary animals and prefer to live alone. They will come together only during mating season. This is when they are very active, and mate several times over to ensure that children are born.

How long does a pudu live?

The Southern pudus can live up to 17 years in the wild. However, in captivity, they can survive only up to 15 years. This is because they are taken away from their natural habitat, face major changes in diet and living, and do not have the kind of freedom their species is meant for.

How do they reproduce?

The Southern pudus come together in mating seasons (April-May) to breed and reproduce. The baby pudu deer is then born after 200-230 days of gestation. The pudu fawn is born with white spots or stripes, which fade as they grow older.

What is their conservation status?

According to the IUCN Red List, the Southern pudu is Near Endangered. There is no data in the IUCN Red list for the Northern pudu. The Southern pudu, in particular, has constantly shifted between Endangered and Near Endangered, due to sporadic conservation efforts.

Pudu Fun Facts

What do pudus look like?

A well-known pudu fact is that the Southern pudu is the world's smallest deer. As such, a full-grown pudu is short, has stout legs, a reddish-brown body. Their eyes and nose are black in color, and the males have spiked antlers that they shed every year to grow new ones. If you ever see one, make sure to pronounce their name right! It is pronounced as "pu-doo."

Pudus are a beautiful small creature found in South America.

How cute are they?

The pudu animal is one of the cutest you could ever run into! Found in Southern Chile and South Argentina, even the pudu adult is cute enough to make you go "aww" at the sight of them. In fact, they might even be cuter when you catch them in mating season, which is when they are at their most active.

How do they communicate?

The Southern pudus communicate mostly through non-verbal cues. They are very territorial and mark their area by leaving dung or scenting it. When scared, they bark at predators, and you can see the pudu deer skipping and jumping when excited.

How big is a pudu?

The pudu deer is the smallest in the world, so the pudu deer size is not very big. The Southern pudu is only 14-18 in big, with the males being marginally bigger than the female. This measurement is not including the pudu deer antlers, which can be 3-4 in on their own.  This means that the pudu size is seven times smaller than the moose, which is the biggest species of deer in the world.

How fast can a pudu run?

There have been no speed tests against which we can measure the speed of the Southern pudu deer. But they can run very fast if needed. They have developed a zigzag running technique with which not only can they maneuver the thickets and bushes, they can also easily outrun larger predators.

How much does a pudu weigh?

The Southern pudu weighs only 18-30 lb. This makes them the lightest species of deer. Not only are they very small, but they also have hollow bones, that allow them to run fast and keep their weight at a minimum.

What are their male and female names of the species?

There is no specific name for the males and the female of the species, but if we consider general deer terminology, then the males can be called the pudu buck, and the female can be called the pudu doe. Though if you visit your local zoo, chances are, the keepers have already given the doe and the buck some great names you will love!

What would you call a baby pudu?

The pudu deer would be called a Southern pudu fawn. As the world's smallest deer species, they would look simply adorable. They mature really fast, though! The males mature in just six months, whereas the females take longer with about 12 months. You can visit your neighborhood zoo for a glimpse at this animal.

What do they eat?

The Southern pudu is a herbivore, meaning they do not eat any meat. They eat bamboo shoots, leaves, grass, leaves, nuts, and any other vegetation within their reach. This makes them a perfect fit for their habitat because the woods they live in always has an ample supply of their food. However, this is changing because of recent deforestation, their captures to be taken to a zoo, and them being smuggled to humans.

Are they friendly?

The Southern pudu is not a very friendly animal. Their territorial nature, combined with their solitary lifestyle, ensures that they do not interact with anyone in their own species or outside of it. However, the Southern pudu species have been known to trust humans after extended and repeated contact. So are they dangerous? No. Should you try to interact with them? Also no, because they might get spooked.  

Would they make a good pet?

Theoretically, yes, the pudu deer pet is a very possible and probable idea. The Southern pudu is one the smallest deer around and so is suited to indoor lives. However, practically, it would be a bad idea to take the Southern pudu as a pet. They thrive in a particular habitat, and taking them out of this habitat would mean that they might be susceptible to diseases, a shorter lifespan, and would reduce their population. Besides, keeping this species as a pet pudu is illegal in many parts of the world because of its status on the IUCN Red List as an endangered species.

Did you know...

One of the most interesting pudu deer facts is that it can survive without drinking water for a very long time. This is because the pudu puda (the deer's scientific name) gets all the water it needs from its food.

Sometimes, the pudu (Southern) is also called the Chilean pudu. In Chile, they are also called the Chilean mountain goat, because they live on the slopes of the Andes Mountains. Talk about diversity in their population!

How is a pudu's small body adapted to its habitat?

The pudu (Southern)  has very short, strong hind legs. This allows it to hide or run away from predators, especially those bigger than itself.  As a small animal species, they are well-suited to their habitat because even as a fawn, the deer can get to the shrubs and vegetation close to the ground. Their hind legs are also flexible enough that they can run in a zig-zag manner, evading predators. Their coat makes them perfect for their habitat in Southern Chile and Argentina and other parts of South America because it allows them to camouflage and avoid predators.

Why are pudu populations threatened?

Pudu animals' population is threatened for various reasons. The most natural one is being hunted by predators. But they are also hunted by domestic dogs and other animals intended to be human companions. Another factor for their declining population is deforestation of their habitat for cattle ranching, human habitation, and more. Activities such as cattle ranching not only introduce competition but also chip away at their habitat. Finally, another threat to their population is humans. Despite the best conservation efforts, these animals are smuggled away to sell as pets worldwide illegally.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals, including fallow deer or deer facts.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Southern Pudu coloring pages.

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