Exotic of the Week 7/25/04

bzzboyz

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 21, 2003
Messages
6,659
Reaction score
14
I posted this one because I saw two having a little scuffle while I was out fishing with my son's this weekend on an exotic game ranch. Thought it was pretty neat to watch. They went on for about an hour till a bigger bull came in and decided they need to move on about their business elsewhere.

********************************************************************

Père David's Deer




Elaphurus davidianus

This deer is a native of north eastern China, where it is thought to have lived in swampy, reed-covered marshlands. The Père David's Deer is unlike any other deer species found on earth. It is known to the Chinese as the "four unlikes", because it has the tail of a donkey, the neck of a camel, the hooves of a cow and it appears to be wearing its antlers backwards!







The wildlife business of Père David's Deer
Vital Statistics Height to shoulder: 100 to170 cm
Weight: 130 to 200 kg


Diet -Its main food is grass, but it complements its diet with water plants in the summer. The grazing and wallowing of this deer species helps to prevent trees from invading valuable (and increasingly scarce) reed swamp.

Behaviour - Père David's Deer is specially adapted for life in marshy habitats, as its long, cloven hooves prevent it from sinking into the swampy ground. It is also a good swimmer, with the males spending much of their time wallowing in the mud at the edges of lakes and ponds. It lives in herds, with the males gathering harems during the breeding season in June to August. When the males fight, or rut, for the right to mate, they use their antlers (only the males have antlers) and teeth to see off competitors, and also rear up on their hind legs to box with each other. The female will give birth to a single fawn 270 to 300 days after mating. The fawn will be fed milk by its mother until it is 10 to 11 months old, and once it is 14 months old, it is sexually mature.

Life expectancy - 18 to 20 years



The Père David's Deer once lived wild in Northeastern China, but it was probably hunted to extinction there during the Ming Dynasty (1368 to 1644). Thankfully, the species was not obliterated from the face of the earth, because a large herd had survived in the Emperor of China's Imperial Hunting Park , south of Beijing.

In 1865, the French missionary and explorer, Père Armand David, caught a glimpse of this species, as he peeped over the wall of the Imperial Hunting Park (strangers were forbidden from entering). Realising that he had never seen this type of deer before, he set himself the challenge of obtaining two complete skins of this animal, which he took back to Europe for identification. This was the first time that this species of deer had been seen by anyone in the western world, and it was named the Père David's Deer, in honour of its western discoverer.

Over the following years, several pairs of the Père David's Deer were sent to zoos in Europe, where they bred successfully. The animals in the Imperial Hunting Park weren't so lucky. Severe floods in 1894 and the Boxer Rebellion in 1900 wiped out the population which had been so carefully conserved for hundreds of years.

When the news of the extinction of the Chinese herd reached Europe, it was decided that all the deer breeding in European zoos should be sent to the spacious Deer Park belonging to the 11th Duke of Bedford at Woburn Abbey, England. Here, the last 18 Père David's Deer remaining on earth established a successful breeding colony, saving the species from extinction.

By 1946, the Père David's Deer population at Woburn had increased to 300, so the Duke of Bedford decided to send some of them to other breeding centres around the world. Today, there are about 600 Père David's Deer living at Woburn, with about 150 captive breeding populations of this species around the world. All are descended from the original 18 deer sent to Woburn at the end of the 19th Century.

In 1986, 39 Père David's Deer were released into the DaFeng Milu reserve near Beijing, close to where they had been found by Père Armand David 130 years earlier. Today there are about 120 animals in this protected herd, and there are hopes that the Père David's Deer will soon be released back into the wild in this part of China.

This wonderful story of successful conservation is an inspiration to us all!
 

Attachments

bzzboyz

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 21, 2003
Messages
6,659
Reaction score
14
<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE </div>
Thats one ugly deer[/b]

Yea, and this pretty much says it all.

<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE </div>
It is known to the Chinese as the "four unlikes", because it has the tail of a donkey, the neck of a camel, the hooves of a cow and it appears to be wearing its antlers backwards![/b]
 

Shane

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 13, 2001
Messages
940
Reaction score
1
Hey, good one B. The Père David's Deer is one of my favorites. I like all of the exotic deer, but this fella, the barasinga, and eld's deer are pretty cool.

Thanks for sharing this one.

~ Shane
 

patford

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 2, 2004
Messages
106
Reaction score
0
Great pic'. I love a pic that makes me want to go and look at the place.
 

Latest Posts

Top Bottom