OH, DEER. This image taken from video shows Haechan of the
K-pop group NCT 127 taking a selfie with a baby pudu at the Los
Angeles Zoo. Fans of the group donated money to name the baby
pudu after Haechan. The human Haechan got to meet his namesake
this month, snapping selfies with the little deer at his
enclosure. (AP Photo/Jerry Nulty)
From The Asian Reporter, V29, #10 (May 20, 2019), page
Haechan meets Haechan: K-pop star honored with
By Marcela Isaza
The Associated Press
LOS ANGELES ó Fans of the K-pop group NCT 127 donated money
in January to name a baby pudu at the Los Angeles Zoo after one
of its members, Haechan (HECHí-ehn). This month, the human
Haechan got to meet his namesake, snapping selfies with the
little deer at his enclosure.
Pudu are found in various parts of South America. Theyíre
considered one of the smallest deer species in the world. The
adorable male pudu was born in late December and became an
internet sensation after the zoo shared his birth announcement
on social media. Thatís when NCT 127 fans decided he looked like
Haechan and began calling him "Baby Haechan" online.
The zoo bestowed the name after NCT 127 fans raised $2,000
for the cause.
Haechanís groupmate, Mark, translated for his friend and told
The Associated Press he was thrilled.
"He actually knew about the pudu first from the fans," Mark
said, adding that his bandmate "feels very honored to be able to
have that opportunity."
The group watched as the baby deer ate kale, leaves, and
roses. While honored, Haechan said he didnít agree with fans
that he looks like the pudu. But he added he eats a lot like the
The South Korean group was in Los Angeles for a stop on its
North American tour, which wrapped up in Vancouver. Members, who
go by their first names only, zipped around the zoo in a golf
cart and stopped to visit with a porcupine before meeting up
with the pudu.
"I feel like my younger me is coming out right now," said
Johnny. "Iím very excited, I canít stop smiling. I saw all these
animals coming here. We saw some porcupines, some turtles,
excites me every time. I love zoos."
The group performed in Los Angeles and also threw out the
first pitch at a Dodgers baseball game.