One-day-old deer sighted in world's largest milu reserve
A one-day-old baby deer was spotted in Dafeng Milu National Nature Reserve in east China's Jiangsu Province on Wednesday, staff with the reserve said.
It is the first time that a newborn deer was spotted in the reserve this year.
"The fawn came late this year," said Ren Yijun, a technical management official with the nature reserve. Preliminary judgment shows that the cub deer was about one day old.
Physically healthy, the baby deer weighed about 13 kilograms and had bright-colored fur. To avoid external disturbances, the mother will take her baby somewhere secluded and feed it in the coming week, before the cub can live with other deer in the herd, according to Ren.
As temperature rises in spring, Dafeng Milu National Nature Reserve will carry conservation work, including newborn monitoring, adjustments of feeding location and the amount of fodder based on births.
The birth season for milu deer usually falls from March to May, sometimes until July. "Taming work will also be scheduled and we're hoping to domesticate 20 to 30 fawn this year," Ren said. According to his estimations, there will be more than 800 baby milu deer born in the nature reserve in 2019.
Milu, also known as Pere David's deer, is a species endemic to China, which was on the edge of extinction in the early 20th century due to overhunting and habitat loss.
The species, under A-level state protection in China, was named after Armand David, a French missionary and naturalist who first recorded the existence of the deer in China in 1865.
Since the British government gifted 39 milu deer to Dafeng Milu National Nature Reserve in 1986, the population of the species in the reserve has grown to 4,556, accounting for more than 60 percent of world's total.