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Pere David's Deer

Père David's deer


  • Pere David’s Deer are called Milu in their native country of China.

  • They can grow two sets of antlers in a year.  Their summer rack is typically the larger of the two.

  • In 1860, the only herd of Milu in the world was located in the Emperor of China’s walled hunting preserve.  The wall was broken when the Yongding River flooded in 1895.  The flood drowned a few deer, but the majority escaped through the broken wall only to be eaten by starving peasants!

  • The wall was rebuilt but the damage had been done and only 30 Milu survived.  The remaining Milu were later shot and eaten by soldiers occupying the grounds during the 1900 Boxer Rebellion!

  • Pere David’s get their name from Father David, the man who saved them (pere means “father” in French). Father David managed to smuggle a few out of China.  With the help of zoos, the Duke of Bedford, and hunting ranches, their numbers have been growing ever since.

  • They are sometimes referred to as Sibuxiang, which translates to “four not alike.”  They got this name because they are described as having “the hooves of a cow but not a cow, the neck of a camel but not a camel, the antlers of a deer but not a deer, the tail of a donkey but not a donkey.”

  • They lose up to 100 pounds during rut.

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