Who is it?
It bears the name of its discoverer, the French missionary and naturalist Armand David. The Chinese name (Su-Puh-Siang, “none of the four”) refers to its similarity to other animals. In Ancient China, it was considered an almost mythical animal, a cross between a deer, a camel or horse, cow and donkey.
Discovered in 1865, it owes its survival to zoos. All the individuals of this species descend from the group that the Duke of Bedford manages to keep in his private park at Woburn Abbey. About twenty individuals which reproduced normally in England.
What are its habits?
Père David’s deer is a gregarious species which, in the breeding season bellows and forms a harem, apart from becoming very territorial.
The antlers, which is found only in the males, are of very curious shape compared to the rest of the deer: they seem to be back-to-front and pointing backwards. The females normally give birth to two fawns.
Did you know…
It is an extremely rare deer. There are currently about 2,000 individuals in the world, descendants of a few head at the end of the 19th century.