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Haus der Natur

Gourmets with antlers

Only male deer, roebucks, have antlers. In autumn their antlers fall off and in spring new, bigger antlers grow once more. Initially these are surrounded by a soft velvety skin that gradually dries out. To get rid of it the roebucks rub their antlers against tree trunks. The resulting fragrances are distributed and this marks out their territory. Perhaps you can discover these so-called 'brush marks' in the forest. Red and fallow deer also brush their antlers against trees.

Deer choose their food very carefully. They prefer delicate buds and shoots of trees, grasses and crops. A lot of deer in a forest can cause considerable damage, since only a few young trees are able to grow once more. Deer are therefore hunted to keep their numbers at a reasonable level. Natural enemies of deer, like wolves and lynx, do not currently exist in the Kottenforst.

Deer fawns are born in May. They weigh only about 1 kg at birth and hide themselves in dense grass. Here they are regularly suckled by their mother - called a doe. If you discover a fawn you must keep your distance and never touch it. Otherwise the doe will refuse to accept it again.

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