Fawn-ing over Smithsonian’s new deer

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.

Will Vitka

William Vitka is a Digital Editor and reporter for WTOP.com. He's been in the news industry for over a decade. Before joining WTOP, he worked for CBS News, Stuff Magazine, The New York Post and wrote a variety of books—about a dozen of them, with more to come.

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