Discover the animals of Asia at Fort Rickey including Sika Deer, Mute Swans, and the Russian Box Tortoise.


Eurasian eagle owls are one of the biggest species of owl in the world. They are easily identified by their large stature, prominent ear tufts and bright orange eyes.

They frequent some variety of habitats, from conifer forests to warm deserts. It favours the undisturbed rocky areas with cliffs, ravines and caves, scattered trees and thickets.
It also can be found in taiga, open forests, wooded steppes, quarries and cultivated areas in rocky places.

Gestation: 34-36 days of incubation
Litter size: 1-5 eggs


The mute swan (Cygnus olor) is a species of swan, and thus a member of the waterfowl family Anatidae. It is native to much of Europe and Asia, and (as a rare winter visitor) the far north of Africa.

The name ‘mute’ derives from it being less vocal than other swan species. This large swan is wholly white in plumage with an orange bill bordered with black. It is recognisable by its pronounced knob atop the bill.

Swans are highly intelligent and remember who has been kind to them, or not.

Mating season: March to April
Gestation: 36 days of incubation
Litter Size: 5-8 eggs are layed, one every two days


Peacocks are large, colorful pheasants (typically blue and green) known for their iridescent tails. These tail feathers, or coverts, spread out in a distinctive train that is more than 60 percent of the bird’s total body length and boast colorful “eye” markings of blue, gold, red, and other hues. The large train is used in mating rituals and courtship displays. It can be arched into a magnificent fan that reaches across the bird’s back and touches the ground on either side. Females are believed to choose their mates according to the size, color, and quality of these outrageous feather trains.

The term “peacock” is commonly used to refer to birds of both sexes. Technically, only males are peacocks. Females are peahens, and together, they are called peafowl, Pavo cristatus.

Mating Season: January to April
Gestation: 28 days of incubation
Litter size: 4-6 eggs


The Russian box tortoises are found throughout much of central Asia.  The climate of this region is harsh and variable, with extremely hot and dry summers and bitterly cold winters. As a result of such adverse conditions, these animals have adopted a spectacular survival tactic. They may remain safely burrowed underground for up to 9 months of the year, only emerging in the spring to breed and eat when food is plentiful.

Their rugged lifestyle and small adult size have made the Russian tortoise one of the most popular reptile pets in the United States. Most of the adult Russian tortoises currently available in this country are imported, as adults, from their lands of origin. Despite the seemingly traumatic trek, these animals seem quite resistant to the stress and illnesses often encountered with other collected species.

Mating season: No specific mating season
Gestation: 8-12 weeks of incubation
Litter Size: 1-5 large eggs


The sika deer, Cervus nippon, also known as the spotted deer or the Japanese deer, is a species of deer native to much of East Asia, and introduced to various other parts of the world. Its name comes from shika, the Japanese word for “deer”; in Japan the species is known as the nihonjika.

The sika deer is one of the few deer species that does not lose its spots upon reaching maturity.

Sika stags have stout, upright antlers with an extra buttress up from the brow tine and a very thick wall. A forward-facing intermediate tine breaks the line to the top, which is usually forked.

Mating Season: September to November
Gestation: 217 days
Litter size: 1 calf

Silver Pheasant

The Silver Pheasant is a species of pheasant found in the forests, and mountains of mainland Southeast Asia as well as part of eastern and southern China. Populations have also been introduced into Hawaii and various other locations within the American mainland.

The male of this species is typically black and white with a long, patterned tail and black dropping crest on its crown. The male doesn’t attain its full plumage until it is at least 2 years old. The female is an olive brown color with a black-tipped crest. These birds are known for their bare red faces and legs. The largest males can grow up to 49 inches in length with a tail of up to 30 inches, while the female can grow up to 35 inches in length with a tail just over 12 inches. Males can weigh up to 4 and a half pounds, while the female typically weight is under 3 pounds.


Mating season: Spring

Gestation: 25 to 26 days

Litter Size: 15-20 eggs

 Vietnamese Pot Bellied Pig

The Vietnamese Pot Bellied Pig is a dwarf swine breed originating from the North Central Coast region of Vietnam. First brought to North America for zoos, they have since become a popular porcine pet for private buyers. They are friendly when neutered, though because of their being natural prey they do not generally like to be picked up.

They have an average weight of just over 100 pounds, and an average height of about 1 foot, reaching their full height at around 5 years old. They are known for their heavily wrinkled skin, small head with an up-turned snout, and sway back with a large sagging belly. Pregnant sows bellies often sag so low that they drag along the ground. They have a naturally strong resistance to disease and parasites and forage well on rice, and other water plants– making them at home in marshy and muddy terrain.

Mating season: Autumn to early Spring

Gestation: 113 to 115 days

Litter Size: 1-12 piglets