Szeged, Állatok világnapja, Vadaspark, állatok, gyerekek, kirándulás

Four Persian fallow deer born at Szeged Zoo

Local News

Persian fallow deers (Dama mesopotamica) were born at Szeged Zoo, and the four calves can already be observed by visitors in the forest enclosure of this endangered species, the zoo announced on its social media page.

In Hungary, visitors can only see this rare species at Szeged Zoo, which boasts the second-largest population of Persian fallow deer in Europe. Only the Opel Zoo in Germany has more individuals, a zoo renowned for saving the species from extinction in the latter half of the 20th century.

By the mid-20th century, the Persian fallow deer was thought to be extinct. A small population was then discovered in Iran, from which a few individuals were transported to the Opel Zoo in Königstein im Taunus, Hesse, Germany. These individuals became the foundation for the species’ conservation and reintroduction efforts.

Today, there are fewer than 2,000 Persian fallow deer worldwide. European zoos have played an active role in the species’ conservation. Szeged Zoo has participated in the European Endangered Species Program since 2013, with calves being born every year since.

Native to the Middle East, the Persian fallow deer is mentioned in several Old Testament stories and is noted as a wild animal that is not considered unclean, making it permissible for consumption under Jewish dietary laws. The species’ decline was caused by habitat destruction and the advent of modern firearms, which made hunting more effective.

The Persian fallow deer resembles the European fallow deer, also found in the Carpathian Basin. It was once considered a subspecies of the European fallow deer but is now recognized as a separate species. It is slightly larger than its European counterpart, weighing between 50-70 kilograms and measuring about one and a half meters in body length, with less “palmate” antlers. The deer prefers densely vegetated, forested areas, similar to the enclosure designed for them in Szeged, where they can hide from predators.

Like other deer, their calves are born relatively mature and can run within a few hours after their initial wobbly attempts to stand. Visitors can see all four new calves, as well as the Indian antelope calves born at Szeged Zoo at the end of spring.


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