Released Pere David's deer have cubs

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, May 10, 2016
Adjust font size:

The population of a group of Pere David's deer released from captivity to live around Dongting Lake in central China in March has risen to 18, as park rangers found two cubs among them.

A group of sixteen  Pere David's deers are released from captivity to live around Dongting Lake in central China in March. [Photo:]

Two of the 11 female deer among the original 16 were pregnant at the time of the release. The group was raised in east China's Jiangsu Province, but released to enrich the gene pool of the deer population around Dongting Lake in Hunan Province.

Pere David's deer, endemic to the subtropics of China, have been pulled back from the brink of extinction, but they now face new uncertainty in Hunan due to Dongting Lake's rising water level in flood season. This may force them to move nearer to local villages and place them in conflict with farmers, said Zhang Hong, a manager at Dongting Lake Nature Reserve.

The reserve administration has warned villagers that the deer are under state protection and must not be harmed. The administration has set up feeding crops and water supplies for the deer in the reserve.

Around 100 deer were counted around Dongting Lake after the new arrivals in March.

There were none in the area before a catastrophic flood drove a handful of them to escape from Shishou Nature Reserve in neighboring Hubei Province and cross the Yangtze River to settle there in 1998.

Pere David's deer were named after a Basque missionary to China who introduced them to Europe in the late 19th century.

The species was left extinct in China by 1900 due to natural disasters and hunting. In 1985, 22 specimens were brought to China from the world's only herd in Bedfordshire, the United Kingdom.

China is now home to two-thirds of all the Pere David's deer in the world, around 3,000 living in three specialized reserves in Beijing, Hubei and Jiangsu. Hunan's Dongting Lake, however, has China's largest population of free-roaming Pere David's deer.

Follow on Twitter and Facebook to join the conversation.
Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comment(s)

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Enter the words you see:    
    Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from