‘Lost Species’ Of Tiny, Rabbit-Sized Deer Photographed In Vietnam For The First Time In 30 Years

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The silver-backed Chevrotain, also called the Vietnamese mouse-deer, is extremely elusive. It’s so elusive that scientists had long feared it was extinct after none had been photographed for decades. But as The Washington Post reports, the first images taken of the mammal in nearly 30 years prove that the species is still alive in the woods of Vietnam.

About the same size as a small dog, the Chevrotain is the smallest hoofed animal on Earth. The animal is known to be incredibly shy, therefore making it nearly impossible to study. The last time scientist or anyone for that matter, recorded one — was in 1990.

Global Wildlife Conservation, the Southern Institute of Ecology, and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research teamed up in an effort to document the lost species.

Researchers interviewed residents and government forest rangers in the Vietnamese city of Nha Trang about the silver-backed chevrotain, looking for tips on where to find one. Residents said that while populations had been hit hard by hunting, the animals were still around.

Based on all the knowledge gained from locals on where to possibly find a Chevrotain, the two groups set up 3 cameras in the woods and captured 275 images of the tiny deer over a 5-month period. The group then set up 29 additional cameras and captured 1881 more images over the same period of time.

Now researchers and scientist are in the beginning stages of learning about the animal and its habits. A they progress in their research, Once the data is collected, they will be able to formulate a plan to ensure the species survival!