Pudus may be the smallest deer in the world, but Bambu was tiny even by pudu standards when specialists rescued her. Abandoned outside of Concepcion, Chile and extremely underweight, Bambu would have died without interference. Already endangered and incredibly rare, a pudu’s biggest threats are illegal hunting, deforestation and disease. After recognizing her vulnerability, Bambu’s rescuers took her to San Sebastian University’s veterinary clinic to make sure she got the attention she deserved.
Veterinarians at the clinic have given her future a good deal of thought. They admit that the two species that make up the genus Pudu are medical question marks: scientists just don’t have enough information on wild pudus to know how they compare to ones kept in captivity. Releasing Bambu back into the wild once she’s grown could be risky, veterinarian Miguel Mancilla notes, because so much is still unknown about what diseases the tiny deer are susceptible to.
For now, at least, Bambu has been hand-fed back to health and is a happy, safe little fawn. Watch her story here: