After long search BAMZ gets second mouse deer

  • <B>Squidgy the mouse deer</B> enjoys some lunch as his new friend Spring looks on in the background.

    Squidgy the mouse deer enjoys some lunch as his new friend Spring looks on in the background.
    (Photo by Mark Tatem)

Squidgy the mouse deer has found a friend, following a search by the Bermuda Aquarium Museum and Zoo.

Zoo officials recently introduced the tiny animal to a female mouse deer named Spring, and reportedly the pair have become quick friends.

Head curator Ian Walker said: “We have been looking for a new mouse deer for a while now. You can’t just order one. We’re not taking them from the wild.”

After a long search, they found Spring at the Bronx Zoo, and were able to bring her to the Island on June 23.

“She became available and we took the opportunity to bring her down. She’s very calm. Just a wonderful animal. Our other mouse deer had been alone for a while now.”

Despite the closeness of the pair, they are unlikely to breed as Spring is believed to be beyond breeding age.

Greater mouse deer, also known as greater malasian chevrotains, are typically solitary, nocturnal animals, native to Sumatra, Borneo and other smaller Malaysian and Indonesian islands.

The males are easily distinguished from the females by fang-like tusks that protrude from their mouth. When angry, the males can beat their hooves as quickly as four times a second.

The new mouse deer is just one of several animals that will be put on display once work at the facility is complete.

The Zoo is building a new exhibit focusing on the wildlife of Madagascar and also making improvements to the Australasia building. Dr Walker apologised for the duration of the work, which was scheduled for completion last year, but said the Madagascar Exhibit should be open to the public in a few months.

“I imagine the mouse deer will be back on display in January. That’s the plan anyway,” he said.

“Now that we have the roof off, we’re taking the opportunity to do some work that we have wanted to do for a while.

“We apologise for the work taking so long, but it will be worth it.”

Along with the Madagascar exhibit, the construction project will result in a new medical facilities for the zoo.

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Published Sep 15, 2011 at 9:04 am (Updated Sep 15, 2011 at 9:04 am)

After long search BAMZ gets second mouse deer

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