Zoo babies are always cause for celebration, but this guy deserves some extra love. The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium recently announced their adorable tufted deer fawn has a name: Angus!
Little Angus was born on Nov. 26, 2021, but he had a rough start. Complications after his delivery meant he spent his first weeks being hand-raised by his human caretakers.
He seems to have turned a corner, though, because the zoo recently shared his new name — and it was chosen by the people who know him best: his care team.
In a Facebook post, the zoo announced Angus’s name and shared one of his first photos. Take necessary precautions, because it’s totally cute!
He’s so small! And so sweet!
According to a tweet posted by the zoo announcing his birth in early December, Angus was “bright and active” despite the complications. He downed a bottle of milk every three hours with his care team, which must have been a big help to Angus’s mom, Joslyn.
It's a boy! On November 26, 2021, we welcomed an adorable tufted deer fawn. The fawn was born to mother, Joslyn, and father, Dexter. He's being hand-raised by his care team due to complications following his birth. He is bright and active and receives milk bottles every 3 hours. pic.twitter.com/dYUqBHdi8A
— Columbus Zoo (@ColumbusZoo) December 10, 2021
Angus isn’t on exhibit yet, but the zoo hopes he’ll be out and about later this year.
Classified as “near threatened,” which is a couple of steps down from “endangered,” tufted deer are rather mysterious. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the species is native to south and central China, where it thrives in tree-heavy, mountainous terrain. The deer also once lived in Myanmar, but it’s unclear if the species still exists there.
The animals are often solitary, though sometimes travel in pairs. Population estimates are rough — a 1998 study guessed 300,000 to 500,000 tufted deer were living in China at the time.
Experts believe the deer’s numbers are in decline due to habitat loss and over-hunting. They’re a longtime source of food and skins for local people, who can easily track the deer along their well-used travel routes. While the species is protected in some provinces of China, their numbers are still dwindling.
Perhaps the most notable of the tufted deer’s features are its teeth. Though they only eat plants, they’re outfitted with a pair of vampire-like fangs.
Check out those chompers! And admire that tuft!
Now that Angus is here, we know there’s one more tufted deer on the planet — and that’s a very good thing.