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Tourists spot endangered deer at Chilean reserve

STORY: Location: Magallanes National Reserve, Chile

This endangered deer surprised Spanish tourists

It’s a South Andean deer, also called a ‘huemul’

The animal doesn’t seem to be afraid of the humans watching it

Date: March 1, 2023

[Mariano de la Maza/Chief, Adaptative Management for Conservation/ National Forestry Corporation]

“Specifically at the Magallanes National Reserve, there had never been a direct report of the south Andean Deer. Nobody had ever directly seen the species. Two years ago approximately, two footprints were reported, which pointed out the deer could be there. And now, two weeks ago, a couple of tourists from Spain went to the Magallanes National Reserve, and as they were walking through the Coigues way, they saw this individual, which is a young male.”

There are less than 2,500 huemul left in the world

The sighting may prove the area is a viable habitat

“The species is only present in Chile and in a stripe of Argentina, at the warm forest of Argentina that’s shared with Chile. It’s an endangered species. There are less than 2,500 individuals left in the world. And there’s a population at the central Nevados de Chillan that’s at serious risk, very fragmented and isolated from other populations. Years ago, it was thought it was disappearing.”