Wednesday 24 December 2008

Stockings were Hung

Just in case you'd forgotten how weird the Humans are around here (Well, Dad mainly), a pic of (I'm sure we've mentioned this before) Rudolph. Rudolph is a Challock Forest Fallow deer (actually a white buck) who died of natural causes in late 2005.

We guess he died happy because by "late" I mean the rutting season, and it is the way of these things that a big ol' boy becomes "Master-Buck" for as long as he can manage it, normally in his 8th or 9th year. He hold the stand for a week or so, but doesn't eat or drink for that time, so he ends up exhausted, and eventually gets pushed off by a young pretender.

Some are strong enough to retreat, re-group and try again next year, but eventually comes the year when the exhaustion is all-pervading, and this old boy (says our tame expert and Forest Ranger, Steve) pretty much wandered off, collapsed and died. We found him after nature and re-cycling had taken it's course, and you have to agree he's a magnificent boy. At this age the antlers are pretty much fully palmated (webbed like a moose's), they are 23" long here and 30" spread. OK small-fry by moose standards, but about as good as it gets for a fallow deer.

Anyway, here is "Big Rudolph" with his "Little Rudolph" stocking hung up in case Santa should come by.



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