The King of the Forests
Originally, the deer is a plains animal. Nowadays, it tends to dwell in the forest in order to stay as far away from humans as possible. Since times immemorial, mankind has hunted deer to sate its appetite for its flesh, use their skin as protection against the cold, use their bones to build fires and get warm, light up the dark with their fat, and craft weapons with their antlers.
Its wooden crown, commonly known as antlers are quite extraordinary and unique. Antlers are made out of bone and each year, in February-March, the deer sheds its antlers. It takes the antlers 100 days to grow back! During the regrowth, they are covered by a furry skin called velvet. This special tissue is a type of skin, loaded with blood vessels and nerves, that regenerates every year.
Their life is also regulated by another important moment: the mating season that starts in early autumn. For several weeks, the stags will bellow, using their mighty roar to attract females. They also engage in fierce, spectacular battles with their potential rivals. It truly is an awe-inspiring ritual which will only come to an end when the strongest deer has established its dominion.
For most of the year, the female and male herds live separately. The hinds' basic social structure is that of the matriarchal trio: one female, the young born during the year and the offspring from the year before. These trios tend to group together as a herd, with dozens of individuals. During the autumn, males and females come together and spend the winter together. In the spring, after an 8 month gestation period, the hinds give birth to a single fawn.
Did you know that?
Hinds are only fertile for a very short period of time; from 24 to 48 hours per year!
Stags are blessed with an excellent sense of smell, in fact a deer's nose functions a 1.000 times better than that of a human! They also have an acute sens of hearing.
When in danger, stags can run with a speed of up to 70km/h and they are also excellent swimmers!
Discover the European Big 5
The bison, the wolverine, the wolf, the lynx and the brown bear