This shot was taken on a damp rainy day at the Virginia Safari Park in Natural Bridge, Virginia, USA. This place has 180 acres for most of their animals to roam free on. This was taken in a wooded section way down in the back. I don’t think this deer was too happy about the weather. They do have wooden shelters here and there for the animals, but from this spot it was quite a ways off.
Taken with my Canon Powershot SX110 IS
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FALLOW DEER (from Wikipedia)
This species has great variations in the color of their coats, with four main variants – common – menil – melanistic and leucistic (a genuine color variety – not albinistic.) The white is the lightest colored – almost white is common and menil – darker. Melanistic is very dark – sometimes even black (easily confused with the sika deer).Common – Chestnut coat with white mottles that are most pronounced in summer with a much darker, unspotted coat in the winter. Light-colored area around the tail, edged with black. Tail is light with a black stripe.
Menil – Spots more distinct than common in summer and no black around the rump patch or on the tail. In winter, spots still clear on a darker brown coat.
Melanistic (black) – All year black shading to greyish-brown. No light-colored tail patch or spots.
Leucistic (white, but not albino) – Fawns are cream colored, adults become pure white, especially in winter. Dark eyes and nose, no spots.
Most herds consist of the common coat variation, yet it is not rare to see animals of the menil coat variation. The Melanistic variation is rarer and white very much rarer still.
Only bucks have antlers, which are broad and shovel-shaped from three years on. In the first two years the antler is a single spike. They are grazing animals. Their preferred habitat is mixed woodland and open grassland. During the rut bucks will spread out and females move between them. At this time of year fallow deer are relatively ungrouped compared to the rest of the year when they try to stay together.
Agile and fast in case of danger, fallow deer can run up to a maximum speed of 30 mph over short distances (being naturally less muscular than other cervids such as roe deer, they are not as fast). Fallow deer can also make jumps up to 1.75 metres high and up to 5 metres in length.