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Fawn-ing over Smithsonian’s new deer

The Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Virginia, welcomed a new fawn to its herd of endangered Eld’s deer Oct. 26. (Courtesy Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute)

WASHINGTON — Oh, deer.

A new member of the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute’s endangered Eld’s deer herd has been added to the pack in Front Royal, Virginia.

The fawn was born Oct. 26., weighing in at 11 pounds, according to a news release.

She and her mother, Ampika, are being kept away from the larger Eld’s deer herd for six months.

The Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute is home to 12 male and 18 female Eld’s deer.

Scientists there are studying their reproduction and creating a self-sustaining population in human care with the help of animal keepers.

The endangered Eld’s deer are only 1,500 strong in the wild. They are hunted for their hides and antlers.

Given those numbers, the Smithsonian says they are at risk of inbreeding and losing genetic diversity.

Find more information at the Smithsonian’s website.


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