A Philippine spotted deer, one of the world’s rarest animals, has been born to the delight of conservationists at Chester Zoo in England.
The adorable fawn was born in September weighing 4.4 pounds (2kg).
Now standing 12 inches tall (30cm), he has taken his first steps outdoors in their new enclosure alongside his doting parents—Nova and Cosmos.
As part of a special breeding program, the birth is said to provide a much-needed boost to an ultra-rare species classified as ‘highly endangered’ in the wild.
The tiny new arrival is part of conservation efforts between zoos in Europe, set up at the request of the Philippine government to ensure future survival of the species.
Zookeepers have decided to name him after the constellation of stars, Hercules.
“After eagerly waiting 240 days for his arrival, it was a huge relief when we saw a little bundle of fur curled up next to mum Nova one morning,” said Emma Evison, team manager at the zoo.
“She’s a great mum and has been doing everything perfectly so far – feeding him every few hours and keeping him right by her side.”