Baby pudu named for Korean pop star debuts at LA Zoo

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Fans of a Korean pop star have raised more than USD2,000 to name a baby deer at the Los Angeles (LA) Zoo after their favourite doe-eyed singer.

The zoo’s new baby pudu was named Haechan after a member of K-pop group NCT and its two subgroups, NCT 127 and NCT Dream.

The southern pudu made its media debut on Thursday, though he has previously been on public display after he was born on December 19.

Donors typically name animals born at the zoo. But after tweeting about the newborn pudu, the zoo realised Haechan’s fans had long thought the 18-year-old looked like the tiny deer that’s native to South America.

“It was immediate,” said the zoo’s social media manager Katherine Spada. “People started saying, ‘You’ve got to name the pudu Haechan. He looks just like Haechan.’”

Spada said the zoo had no idea who Haechan or NCT was but started researching.

“We don’t really know how the nickname started except that Haechan’s cute and pudus are cute,” she said.

Taking inspiration from a Tumblr dedicated to the similarities between the singer and the fawn, the zoo then posted images of the pudu next to photos of Haechan.

The zoo wrote that if fans raised USD2,000 to go toward conservation work, the pudu would be named Haechan. The post was retweeted and liked more than 28,000 times and the money was raised within three hours.

A baby pudu named Haechan, roams inside his enclosure at the Los Angeles Zoo. – AP