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Hamster-sized ‘deer-mouse’ born in Spain

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The latest specimen of the world’s tiniest deer — a rare species no bigger than a hamster — has been born in a nature park in southern Spain, conservationists said Friday.

The baby “deer-mouse” became just the 43rd living member of this species in Europe when it was born on April 9 in the Fuengirola Biopark near Malaga.

Originating in southeastern Asia, the deer is so called because its tiny dimensions and big eyes make it look more like a rodent, despite its tiny hooves.

At birth, the baby — which has not yet been named because it is still too small to determine its sex — weighed about 100 grams (nearly 4 ounces).

But “it is growing very fast,” a spokeswoman for the nature park, Asun Portillo, said Friday.

The deer-mouse typically grows to about the size of a rabbit and weighs about a 1 kg when fully grown.

“It is doing very well, in its enclosure, although it cannot suckle yet and cannot feed by itself.”

Its mother has lived in Fuengirola since 2007 and its father was brought over from Lille, France a year ago, the park said.

The survival of the species, known by scientists as “tragulus javanicus,” is threatened by deforestation in its native Southeast Asia, the park said, AFP reports.

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