It’s rutting season again for Bushy Parks deer – Royal Parks are advising visitors to keep their distance and not be fooled by how friendly the deer are at other more peaceful times of the year. Despite their usual slow and laid-back movements, they can quickly charge at anything they see as a threat. The season runs through late September and October, the deer are at their most aggressive during the first three weeks.
Photo courtsey of Gemma Archer – deer fight captured on Chestnut Avenue.
The word ‘rut’ derives from a Latin term meaning ‘to roar’. Rutting is basically the breeding season triggered by shorter sunlight-hours, where the males compete for female attention. This means that the males become very aggressive, with much in-fighting to determine dominance and mating rights. Challenges like this can be identified by roaring, parallel walking (sizing each other up) and the clashing of antlers to push each other off-balance. After fights, the losing deer can be disorientated and accidentally hit an onlooker or wander in to the road so motorists are also urged to be cautious.
Dog walkers are also advised to keep their dogs on leads during this time and visitors are still welcome to view the deer but from a safe distance of at least 100 metres.