you cannot see the buttons above, try the links below
some people the Phoenix Park deer are Bambi-like creatures simply there
to form a background to family snapshots on a summer’s afternoon,
or ideal for a quick visit on Christmas Day to thank Rudolph for his generosity
and commitment to the work ethic on Christmas Eve.
But, they are a living herd of wild animals with their own rights to the
park established over many hundreds of years and through many challenges
both to their territory and their existence.
Fallow deer have been present in Phoenix Park since the seventeenth century
when they were hunted for sport by the gentry of the day. The present-day
herd is descended from those deer who were chased for enjoyment and hunted
They are wild animals, and their relationship with man has sometimes been
a stormy one, like when calls were made to remove the animals to a special
enclosure so twentieth-century motorists could drive through the park
on the way to somewhere else without having deer wandering the roads and
In fact, their wanderings during the Second World War and pressure on
space in general in Phoenix Park saw most of 1,200
herd members being
officially shot dead.
Just thirty-eight animals constituted the herd, following the 1942 cull.
Some 200 fawns
can be born each year in Phoenix Park.
As part of a continuing study, hair and nail clippings are taken from
the newborn animal for DNA samples, for official records.
Fawns are colour-tagged shortly after birth and allocated an individual
herd is normally situated on the 200-acre flat meadow area known as the
Fifteen Acres, and in the woodland of Oldtown Wood on its northern perimeter.
The oldest recorded
male died of old age in summer 2004 at 14 years of age. His skeleton was
placed on exhibition in the mammal study unit in UCD.
the herd had grown to some 800 animals once more and a major reduction
was ordered by the Office of Public Works. Some 350 animals were to be
killed to reduce the herd to a manageable size of 450 animals once more.
A deer population of this size was regarded as the maximum carrying capacity
of the park. The cull was to be carried out over a number of years taking
into account the number of healthy or infirm specimens that are extant
from each year of birth.
more detail read
The comprehensive book on Dublin's own national park.