Native to Turkey and the Balkans, they were introduced into broad areas of Europe and other world regions. They are the most widely kept of the world’s deer, yet are very rare as “wild” animals.
Subspecies Persian fellow deer (D. d. mesopotamica) were thought to have gone extinct because of rampant poaching and killing by leading experts by the end of the 19th century. But, in the 1950s, a small population was found in Iran, and a few animals were brought to Israel for captive breeding. Today, their number is slowly rising, and they have also been reintroduced into the wild.
Today, they are being bred in the zoos of Iran, Israel, and Germany. Little information is present about their life and behavior in the wild. Most information has been obtained from captive breeding, which might not accurately represent their natural population, and it needs more research.
Distribution below is for Persian subspecies.
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Terrestrial / Aquatic
Altricial / Precocial
Polygamous / Monogamous
Dimorphic (size) / Monomorphic
Active: Diurnal / Nocturnal
Social behavior: Solitary / Pack / Herd
Diet: Carnivore / Herbivore / Omnivore / Piscivorous / Insectivore
Migratory: Yes / No
Domesticated: Yes / No
Dangerous: Yes / No