Twycross Zoo has announced the birth of a male Michie’s tufted deer. Born July 13, the adorable fawn comes as the first offspring for parents Fatima and Mitch.

Michie’s tufted deer is a subspecies of the Tufted deer which is native to a small area of south-eastern China. The small deers usually have a brown coat on their back, a bright white flash of fur under their tail and a prominent tuft of black hair on their forehead.

The birth comes as a great success for Twycross Zoo
The birth comes as a great success for Twycross Zoo

The species’ close relative, the Muntjac, which also originates from China, can be found across the South of England as they were introduced to the UK by the Duke of Bedford in the early 20th century.

Michie’s tufted deer is usually a solitary species and generally most active at dawn and dusk and thus they are difficult to see. The International Union for Conservation of Nature lists Michie’s tufted deer as Near Threatened because the species is over-hunted in parts of Asia.

Mother Fatima arrived at Twycross Zoo, in Leicestershire, from Berlin in last year while father Mitch was born in the zoo in 2014. The mating season for Tufted deer is late autumn and winter and the male will usually bark loudly to attract the attention of nearby females.

Much like the zoo’s newcomer, Michie’s tufted deer fawns are usually born in the summer and can stand up very quickly after birth. Although Fatima and Mitch are first time parents, staff at Twycross Zoo say they have taken very well to the new member of their family, both sitting with the fawn in the den and carefully watching over him.

This latest addition highlights the success of zoo’s breeding programme that helps zoos around the world maintain genetically healthy populations of animals, which could eventually act as a safety net for the threatened species in the wild.

Yianna Cooling, Large Mammals Team leader said: "We are delighted to welcome another healthy baby at Twycross Zoo. The little fawn is faring very well and is keen to explore his home.

"As it is a near-threatened species, it is important to maintain a healthy population of these animals in zoos across the world and we are proud to watch the baby doing so well.

"While the fawn looks very cute now, within a year or two we will see him grow prominent, tusk-like, canines in the upper jaw, which mature males use for fighting during the mating season or during territorial disputes."

Twycross Zoo is open to the public from 10am to 6pm. For more information call 0844 474 1777, or visit .