Spain’s Biopark Fuengirola recently welcomed the pitter patter of tiny hooves, as an adorable mouse-deer was just born at the nature park. The rare creature weighed just four ounces at birth, and it will grow to be around the size of a small rabbit. The mouse-deer is nearly extinct due to massive deforestation in Southeast Asia.

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The baby mouse-deer was welcomed into the world on Friday in the park near Malaga, and there’s only 43 of the creatures currently living in Europe today. Weighing just four ounces, the baby is still too tiny to determine its sex, so it’s awaiting a name. Its mother has lived in the Fuengirola Biopark since 2007.

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The tiny mouse-deer is native to Java and Bali in Southeast Asia. Adults have triangular heads, round bodies, and short spindly legs that are about the thickness of a pencil. When fully grown, they stand just 12 inches high and weigh up to four pounds, with the males of the species bearing tusk-like incisors that protrude from their mouths for defense.

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The animals thrived in Java, but recently their population has declined due to massive deforestation across the region. Because of this, conservationists in ountries outside of Java are raising mouse-deer in hopes of rehabilitating the species and helping it to thrive in the future.

+ Biopark Fuengirola


Images @Levg and @edenpictures