Check out the newest addition to the Prehistoria Natural History Centre - a shed antler from a Père David’s deer! Currently listed as “Extinct In The Wild”, these deer inhabited the marshlands of the Chinese subtropics.
Driven to the brink of global extinction (and complete extinction in the wild) by land reclamation and hunting, their species was saved largely by the efforts of Herbrand Russell (the 11th Duke of Bedford). He purchased the few remaining individuals from European zoos and formed a protected herd at Woburn Abbey.
In 1985 reintroductions began in Chinese nature reserves and today they number roughly 2000 individuals in the wild. Others can still be found in captivity around the world. It is now only a matter of time until their IUCN status is upgraded (slightly) to “Critically Endangered”.
I’d like to thank the awesome folks at Papanack Zoo for this donation to the Prehistoria Natural History Centre! This antler will be mounted on our Wall Of Extinction exhibit.