A Pere David’s Deer taxidermy mount is a rare find for the collection of unusual animal species.
Native to China, a Pere David’s deer has a reddish to deep reddish brown summer coat with a black stripe down the shoulders. In winter turning into a darker grayish brown with darker areas on flanks and throat. The underside is a cream color. The stags have a maned throat. Both sexes have a dark tail tassel on their relatively long tail. The skin between the hooves is naked. Stags sport an unusual antler configuration. Antlers measure 32 inches for a real trophy along the curve. The long hind prong is very straight, and the front prong branches off with the prongs facing backward. A big Pere David’s deer can weigh as much as 500 pounds. The average lifespan is about 18 years.
Pere David’s deer is named after Father (‘Pere’ in French) David, who observed the last remaining Chinese herd and inspired a drive to bring them back from the brink of extinction. The name that the Chinese people gave this deer was ‘sze pu shiang’ which translates as ‘none of the four’. This strange name refers to the deer’s appearance as it looks like it has the neck of a camel, hooves similar to a cow, the tail of a donkey, and antlers of a deer.
Unlike many deer species, the Pere David's deer is very fond of water, often found near wetlands. They will wade up to their shoulders in the water and are also excellent swimmers. Social animals, they congregate in large herds except prior to and following mating when males will leave the group.