Roe deer

The roe deer is Denmark's and Scandinavian Wildlife Park's smallest deer.

The roe deer is small, agile and built for a life in the forest. Its forelegs are lower than its hind legs, and they are therefore able to slip under low bushes and trees.

The buck and the roe both weigh approx. 20 – 25 kg.

Roe deer do not live in large groups like red deer and fallow deer do. However, they live in smaller family groups, and only in the late winter you will see smaller groups grazing together in the corn fields.

The roe has delayed implantation

Usually, the gestation period depends on the size of the animal, and in the larger deer species, the females are pregnant approx. 8 months. A small animal like the deer should thus only be pregnant for approx. 5 months.

For roe deer, however, there is a unique phenomenon called delayed implantation. After mating in July / August, the fertilized egg divides a few times and then enters a resting stage of approx. 4 months. At the turn of the year, the fetus starts to grow again and then undergoes a normal pregnancy of approx. 5 months duration. The kids are therefore born 9 months after mating in May / June, just as nature’s pantry is most abundant.

The Bucks protect their territories

The bucks are very aggressive during the rut. They are establishing their territory as early as May, while the rut itself does not occur until July / August. Until that, they are constantly patrolling their territory and chasing all other bucks on the run. The rut period is very hard on the bucks, and they often lose a lot of weight.

After the rut, the goats have the whole fall to eat before winter. Had the implantation not been delayed in the females, the rut would have ended in the middle of winter and many of the bucks would not be fit to survive the winter.

The buck has antlers

The antlers grows in winter on roe deer, while for other deer species the antlers grow in the spring / summer, and the buck loses the old antlers in late autumn. The antlers gets a maximum of 3 tips on each rod, and the buck is then called a six-end. The buck uses, among other things, their antlers to mark its territory by sweeping it on trees and shrubs. This way, there are visible marks on the bark and branches are torn off. At the same time fragrances are deposited from a gland in the forehead of the buck.