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Argentine foundation fights to save marsh deer population

BUENOS AIRES, July 18 (Xinhua) -- The Temaiken Foundation, a non-governmental organization which aims to preserve Argentina's biodiversity, is now working to save the marsh deer, an animal declared to be a national treasure of Buenos Aires.

In an interview with Xinhua, Temaiken's coordinator of threatened species rescue programs, Paula Gonzalez Ciccia said "Ten years ago, we counted around 500 marsh deer around the capital but this number has drastically dropped in recent years."

"The marsh deer is a very important species as it is near the capital of Buenos Aires. It is one of the species that is the most threatened in the country and we have a dedicated committee to find ways to help preserve it," he added.

The foundation has opened a dedicated space in its park to showcase its conservation efforts, with the first example being provided by a marsh deer fawn, which was rescued in May and is currently being rehabilitated before being released back into the wild.

As the marsh deer cannot be in contact with humans to maintain their behavior and help their return to their habitat, Temaiken has installed a giant screen to show visitors the fawn's recuperation step by step.

The marsh deer, the largest deer species in South America with a shoulder height of 1.2 meters, has seen its traditional habitat shrink across Argentina, Bolivia, Peru, Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay.

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