The fallow deer belongs to the deer family and is therefore a mammal. Only the male has antlers. This has large shovels at the end, which is why the fallow deer is often confused with the reindeer.
Originally, the fallow deer lived in what is now Turkey and in the areas bordering Turkey to the east. But the Romans already brought him into their kingdom and released him into the wild there in the forests. There he was hunted, especially later by nobles. Today there are no more fallow deer living in the wild in Switzerland, in Austria, there are still about 500. Most of the fallow deer in Germany live in Lower Saxony. England has the most fallow deer, with around 100,000 animals in the wild.
Many fallow deer are raised in large enclosures for their meat. They are also found in parks. They rarely argue and are frugal. They also get used to people quickly and will even eat out of their hands. But that’s not entirely without risk: males can push visitors with their antlers in the hope of getting more food themselves.
Fallow deer are significantly larger than roe deer but smaller than red deer. The females are easily recognizable by their fur: they have a dark brown stripe down the middle above the spine with a row of white dots on either side. The males and young animals also have white dots in their rust-brown fur in summer. The males need the antlers in the same way as the red deer and lose them in the same way.
When the animals are not about to mate, the males and females live in separate herds. Older males are sometimes solitary too. The females can have young at the age of two years. The pregnancy lasts almost eight months. Usually, a mother has only one calf. Fallow deer usually live to be around twenty years old.