Deer may seem pretty boring but first glances can be deceiving. This is certainly the case with the Père David’s Deer. “Père” is the French word for “Father,” which might seem an odd name for a deer, but this species was actually first discovered in 1866 by Father Armand David, a French missionary in China.
Père David’s Deer have odd features, combining the hooves like a cow, a camel-like neck, a donkey-like black tufted tail and the antlers of a deer. Event their horns are unusual because the male’s antlers have tines that put upwards and slant a bit towards the back!
Unfortunately these amazing guys are completely extinct in the wild and only exist in captivity. There are conservation attempts to reintroduce them to the wild, but none have been successful to date. So when you drive through the park and see this unique animal, remember, he’s not just a regular deer, he is a rare animal that can only be seen in captivity!