Davidshirsch Elaphurus davidianus (Milne-Edwards, 1866)


English: Pere David’s Deer; French: Cerf du Père David, Milou; Chinese: Mi-lu, Mi-lou, ssu-pu-hsiang.

Former distribution: 2-3000 B.C. in China; Hubei, Shandong (Shantung) and Henan. In historic times in parks, 45 km south of Peking.
Present distribution: United Kingdom. Introduced 1900 by the DUKE OF BEDFORD to Woburn Park. 1985 22 specimens from Woburn and 1986, 33 from 5 British zoos reintroduced into China.
Behaviour: Preferred habitat: low swamps with tall grass, and reed covered plains. They graze on grasses and water plants; active diurnally. The females form family groups of 20-40. The hooves are wide and adapted to the swamp habitat. The rut begins in June.
Population status: Only in parks and zoological gardens. Estimated numbers: About 600 in Woburn; 100 in Wadhurst.
Brief notes:
Body weight: 250-300 kg
Head and body length: 190-200 cm
Tail length: 40-50 cm
Shoulder height: 100-125 cm
Gestation period: 250 days
Maximum age: About 20 years
Trophy: Record SCI: 40 score, 1984 England, ROBERT W. KUBICK; average 18 score. CIC: 503.30 points; average 500 points. RW’s: 36 1/8″, 1978 England, R. SAND.
Hunting methods: Stalking
Remarks: This deer was made known to the Europeans by the French missionary and explorer ARMAND DAVID in 1865 in the Imperial Hunting Park of Nan-Hai-Tse, south of Beijing. In 1898 a pair reached England and breeding started successfully. 1894 the rest of the herd in the Nan-Hai-Tse was killed by the river in flood.