A LITTLE deer has stunned vets by beating critical illness to give birth to this a minute fawn – which measures just FOUR INCHES TALL.
The lesser Malay mouse deer received emergency treatment after an abscess spread from her tooth and eye into her bone.
But after undergoing several operations under general anaesthetic to remove the abscesses the tiny deer, named Eve, recovered before giving birth at Paignton Zoo.
Vets were thrilled with the fawn that weighed in at just 370 grams – less than the weight of a bunch of bananas- as they were unsure whether fragile Eve would survive.
Sarah Hewitt, of the Paignton Zoo vet team, said: ”Eve is an amazing animal. She had a long, complicated illness last year involving a tooth abscess initially then an abscess round her eye which went into the bone.
”She underwent huge amounts of treatment with many general anaesthetics and came through it all.
”It is fantastic that she has now given birth – as vets we are chuffed to bits, as for a while it was touch and go with her.”
Ms Hewitt said the fawn, born on June 19, is doing well and keepers are giving mum and baby piece and quiet to recuperate.
The lesser Malay mouse deer comes from the forests of South East Asia.
Adult males have tiny tusk-like canine teeth that protrude from the sides of the mouth with legs the diameter of a pencil.
They are the smallest members of the animal family that includes pigs, hippos, camels, deer, antelopes, sheep and goats.