THE SIKA DEER
There are some deer in Ballyyahoo but all of them are the fallow deer and you can read about them here.
Most of the deer in the rest of Ireland are of the Sika breed and they represent about 50% of all Irish deer. The Sika deer mostly live in Kerry, Wicklow, Tyrone and Fermanagh with some young herds in Dublin, Kildare, Carlow and Donegal.
The Sika are fairly small and the males (stags) weigh between 50 and 60kg. The females (hinds) weigh about 35kg.
The Sika deer are quite shy by nature and they love to remain hidden. They graze in a variety of places particularly pine plantations. Unfortunately there are no Sika Deer in Ballyyahoo.
The Muntjac are secretive and small. Nobody is sure exactly how many there are. They are a small species and the males (bucks) weigh around 10-18 kg and the females (does) around 9-16kg.
They have been seen in Kildare, Cork, Armagh and Down, but to this date not one single Muntjac deer has been seen in Ballyyahoo.
THE RED DEER
The Red deer are quite beautiful with a red coat that turns brownish in winter. The male, called a stag can weigh up to 190kg and has magnificent antlers. The female, called a hind, is smaller than the stag but can still weight up to 110 kg.
The red deer are said to have been in Ireland since the last Ice Age, which happened a long time ago, in roughly 10,000 B.C.
These beautiful creatures roamed freely then but sadly they almost became extinct. Luckily there were great efforts to protect those who remained and their numbers increased.
They are mostly to be found in Killarney and unfortunately they are not to be found in Ballyyahoo any more.
In fact, not a single Ballyyahooian has ever seen one. Not a single Ballyyahooian has ever heard their parents, or even grandparents talk of the beautiful Red Deer.
Maybe there was a time when these majestic creatures roamed free in Ballyyahoo but that must have been a long, long time ago. Today, the only deer in Ballyyahoo are the ones you see below. They are called the Fallow deer.