Squeee! The Los Angeles Zoo has an adorable new baby, and your kids will consider visiting this little guy a must-do. Born December 19 to first-time parents and zoo residents Steph and Mario, this southern pudu—a tiny and super cute deer species from South America—is now out and about. Allow us to help you set a beeline for him so you can stop by the zoo to say hi (and call him by his surprising name)!
The new resident has a name which was decided after a fundraiser that earned a whopping $2,687 for the zoo's conservation efforts: Haechan, which is a nod to the nickname of K-Pop star Lee Dong-hyuck of the band NCT. Over the years, fans have taken to calling him Pudu, due to his likeness to the animal. It only seems fair, really, that the two pudus should share a name.
“Due to Haechan and NCT fans’ overwhelming enthusiasm, this campaign raised over $2,500 in support of our conservation efforts,” says Kait Hilliard, vice president of marketing at the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association. “We are thrilled to see this groundswell of support and excitement, and we can’t wait to introduce our newest resident to the Los Angeles community.”
We can't wait to meet this little guy, too.
So how do you find him? The dear little Andean deer lives in the South America section of the zoo with his family. If you go to Cafe Pico and face the Aldabra tortoise exhibit, follow along to the left hand side of the tortoise exhibit to get to the pudu. And then look carefully for a deer that's smaller than a housecat; even full-grown pudus only weigh about 15 pounds and stand less than a foot tall. Little Haechan is even smaller, of course.
And like most new babies, he sleeps at unpredictable times; if you don't see him on the first pass, you can bet he'll be awake soon. Just ask his mama—the proud pudu with the furry bags under her eyes.
Photos by GLAZA / Jamie Pham