WILMINGTON — Two Southern Pudu, the second smallest species of deer on Earth, have found a new home at the Brandywine Zoo.
At 14-30 pounds, pudu are about 14-18 inches tall. Southern Pudu are native of southwestern Argentina and southern Chile. It is believed there are fewer than 10,000 Southern Pudu in the wild, and there are fewer than 200 in zoos around the world.
The pudu duo, Chloe and daughter Clover, came from the Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens in Florida as part of an Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plan recommended move.
There is no easy way to tell them apart: Clover is only one year old, but she is already fully grown and the same size as her mother.
Pudu in the wild are under threat from habitat destruction from timber and agriculture deforestation — more than 90% of former pudu habitat in Chile has been lost. Other threats include being hunted for food and taken from the wild to be sold as pets.
The Brandywine Zoo pudu habitat combines two former exhibit areas and has been redesigned with ground vegetation and tree canopy. Two tree-dwelling toco toucans share the exhibit.
Brandywine Zoo residents include red pandas, Andean condors, capybara, goats, eagles, sandhill crane, porcupine, Florida bobcat, Golden Lion Tamarins, serval, White-faced Saki, Southern Pudu, Scarlet Ibis, Western Burrowing Owls, ravens, Green Tree Python, Mossy Prehensile-tailed Geckos, Prehensile-tailed Skink, honeybees (seasonal hive) and several other animals and reptiles who are part of the Travelling Zoo program.
The Brandywine Zoo is located at 1001 North Park Drive, Wilmington, along the Brandywine River in Brandywine Park.
The Zoo is open to visitors 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day (last admission at 3:30 p.m.). Free parking by the river. Check the website for onsite and online events and for visitor instructions. Timed admission tickets may be purchased online and for further information, call 571-7747.
In addition to onsite experiences, the Brandywine Zoo offers robust virtual events for home and classroom participation including weekly Diversity Story Time, live virtual field trips and animal-centric educational content.
The Brandywine Zoo is managed by the Delaware Division of Parks and Recreation with the support of the Delaware Zoological Society. The Brandywine Zoo is a member of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums and is one of 240 accredited zoos and aquariums worldwide that meet the highest standard in animal care and welfare and provide a fun, safe, and educational family experience.