Zoo welcomes newborn pudu, launches naming contest.

Pudus News

Photos by Jamie Pham, Zoo

Baby Male Haechan

The Los Angeles Zoo announces “Haechan” as the name of its newborn resident, a southern pudu born at the L.A. Zoo Dec. 19 to first-time parents Steph and Mario.

Haechan made his media debut Jan. 24.

Pudus are a petite deer species from South America.

The Zoo launched a Facebook fundraiser to name the pudu, with fans and followers of both the Zoo and K-pop star Lee Dong-hyuck, a.k.a. Haechan of the band NCT, taking particular interest in the Zoo’s newest offspring. Over the years, fans of K-pop star Haechan have given him the moniker “pudu” due to his likeness to this adorable little animal, even sharing their own fan art and photo comparisons online. The fundraising goal to officially name the fawn Haechan was met within hours of the Facebook announcement, with fans making tax-deductible donations to support wildlife conservation.

Pudu Baby with Mom

“Due to Haechan and NCT fans’ overwhelming enthusiasm, this campaign raised more than $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.”

The Facebook fundraiser set a goal of $2,000 to name the pudu newborn Haechan, which was surpassed with 192 individual donors contributing $2,687. The proceeds go to supporting conservation of endangered, vulnerable, threatened and near threatened species, including the pudu, whose wild populations are decreasing due to habitat loss.

“The Zoo’s animal naming program provides groups and individuals an opportunity to develop a deeper connection with a Zoo resident while supporting the Zoo’s animal acquisition fund, which promotes vital wildlife preservation and breeding projects here and around the world,” says Eugenia Vasels, vice president institutional advancement at the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association. “Key to our conservation work here at the Zoo is our ability to acquire or move animals from other institutions accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, which allows us to contribute to healthy insurance populations of species that face a variety of threats in the wild.”

Pudu Baby Haechan with Dad Mario

Zoo admission is $21 for general admission (ages 13 to 61); $18 for seniors (ages 62+); and $16 for children (ages 2 to 12). No ticket is required for children under two. Admission for Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association members is free.

The Los Angeles Zoo is in Griffith Park at the junction of the Ventura (134) and Golden State (5) freeways. 5333 Zoo Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90027. Free parking is available. For additional information, contact (323) 644-4200 or visit www.lazoo.org