The Akron Zoo recently welcomed a new species, Siberian musk deer, now on exhibit. The two musk deer arrived from the Bronx Zoo in New York. The male deer, named Vlad, is three years old and was born on June 10, 2015. The female, Anastasia, is also three years old and was born on June 26, 2015.
Vlad and Anastasia came to the Akron Zoo based on breeding recommendations from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) managed program.
Siberian musk deer are native to the forests and mountains of Russia and northern Asia. They get their name from the musk that they secrete during mating season. Musk deer are small, weighing from 15 to 35 pounds on average. They are known for their kangaroo-like faces and the tusks on the males.
Musk deer are listed as “vulnerable” by the IUCN Red List from poachers hunting them for their musk glands. The glands were once used in perfume making and are now commonly used in traditional medicine.
The musk deer are also on exhibit with red-breasted geese, which are birds native to Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan and surrounding countries. Red-breasted geese are listed as “vulnerable” by IUCN Red List, however the reason for their decline is unknown.
The musk deer and geese are on exhibit in the zoo’s former sika deer habitat after their sika deer, Bucky, was moved to a new off-exhibit area for retirement.