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Female 'barking deer' born at N.Y. zoo

Rosamond Gifford Zoo welcomes the birth of Kaya, a female Chinese muntjac, the world's oldest species of deer.

By Ben Hooper

SYRACUSE, N.Y., Oct. 3 (UPI) -- The Rosamond Gifford Zoo in New York state announced a female Chinese muntjac, or "barking deer," was born at the facility.

The fawn, dubbed Kya, was born to parents Katara and Walter Sept. 19 at the zoo in Syracuse, officials said.

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"We are excited to welcome a new muntjac to our herd. With approximately 650,000 in China, the Reeves' muntjac is not considered endangered, though the species has been categorized as vulnerable due to habitat loss and hunting. The birth of any female, like Kya, remains important to the North American population. There are currently 146 of the species in zoos across North America," Zoo Director Ted Fox said.

The muntjac is considered the oldest species of deer in the world, with fossil records stretching back 15-35 million years. The animals are native to China and Taiwan and grow to heights of up to 20 inches.

Muntjacs are sometimes called "barking deer" due to the dog-like calls they sometimes emit to warn their friends and family members of danger.

Newborn Kya can be seen along with her family at the zoo's Wildlife Trails exhibit.

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