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The Taruca (Hippocamelus antisensis) is a species of deer native to the Andes mountains in South America. It is also known as the Andean deer or northern Huemul.
The Taruca is a medium-sized deer, standing about 4 feet tall at the shoulder and weighing up to 220 pounds. It has a reddish-brown coat with white spots and a distinctive white patch on its rump. The males have large, curved antlers.
These deer are herbivores, feeding mainly on grasses, leaves, and shrubs. They are primarily active at dawn and dusk, and live in high-altitude habitats, such as Andean forests, grasslands, and scrublands. They are social animals, living in small herds of up to 10 individuals.
The Taruca is considered to be a vulnerable species, with an estimated population of 20,000 individuals in the wild. Threats to its survival include habitat loss due to deforestation, hunting, and competition with domestic livestock for food. Conservation efforts are underway to protect and conserve this species, including habitat restoration, law enforcement, and education campaigns.