One of the great things about having a big backyard or living on a farm-type location are the visitors you get. We live nearby a small, protected nature reserve, so we get a lot of interesting wildlife-visitors. In a densely populated setting, these deer are some of the largest wild animals that will appear. They do a good job in living so close to urban areas, but they struggle to exist. Many die in road accidents, are killed or wounded by domestic dogs or are hunted, legally or illegally. We try to make sure that we give wild animals a chance to find quiet on our property when they are disturbed elsewhere. That makes it extra rewarding when we see them prancing around in our garden. My father and I are currently also on the hunt (with cameras) for some pictures of a black buck(?) we’ve seen last week.
People who live with lots of deer around probably think I’m mad for wanting them here. I’ve heard horror stories of vegetable gardens being ruined by deer in a matter of hours. I have personally never experienced deer doing this. Hares and rabbits certainly do, but I think deer prefer to eat somewhere where they don’t smell humans everywhere. We only get wild roe deer, capreolus capreolus. Occasionally an escaped fallow deer, dama dama, will also appear. The larger red deer, cervus elaphus, are native to Belgium and the Netherlands, but can only be found in larger wildlife areas.
I’m sure if you live in a part of the world where ’visiting wildlife’ might include bears, wolves or something else that’s big and scary, you’re less happy about them. Here in western Europe, large predators have been extinct for at least a century. Occasionally the media might report wolf sightings, but these don’t happen very often. We are very happy so see these friendly visitors appear on our lawn. And we try, whenever possible, to make them feel comfortable.