EUROPEAN ANIMALS

Fort Rickey Children’s Discovery Zoo has a wide range of animals from all the world. Meet the animals who reside here at the zoo from Europe:

FALLOW DEER

The Fallow Deer (Dama dama) is considered to be medium in size. They have a light brown coat with white spots. They are one of the few species of deer that don’t lose their spots a few months after birth.

The Fallow Deer are very social animals, especially with the females. They will form big herds. If food supplies start to become scarce they will split into smaller groups as this will increase their chance of survival. They males are loosely associated with the herds, coming and going. It isn’t until mating season that they really start to keep an eye on the females around them.

Mating season: September to October
Gestation: 7/12 months
Litter Size: 1 fawn


HEDGEHOG

The Hedgehog, Erinaceus europaeus, was named because of its peculiar foraging methods. These animals root through hedges and other undergrowth in search of the small creatures that compose the bulk of their diet—insects, worms, centipedes, snails, mice, frogs, and snakes. As a hedgehog picks its way through the hedges it emits piglike grunts—thus, the hedgehog.

Hedgehogs have a coat of stiff, sharp spines. If attacked they will curl into a prickly and unappetizing ball that deters most predators. They usually sleep in this position during the day and awaken to search for food at night.

Hedgehogs hibernate in cold climates. In deserts, they sleep through heat and drought in a similar process called aestivation. They remain active all year in more temperate locations.

Mating season: April to September
Gestation: 35 days
Litter Size: 3-4 young


SCOTTISH HIGHLAND COW

Scottish Highland Cattle are a breed of domestic cattle that originated in the highlands of Scottland. They are a very hardy breed that can adapt to harsh climates and that can thrive on pasture that would not be suitable for supporting other breeds like Angus and Hereford.


SICILIAN DONKEY

The Sicilian Donkey is like no other equine. They are so very affectionate and truly born that way. The Sicilian comes in many different colors but the main two are the silver colored ones commonly known as the “gray-dun” and the dark brown ones known as the “chocolates”. All Sicilians have the dorsal stripe with a dark cross strapped across their withers. This creates the cross shape design over their back which lore tells us was put there to symbolize the Christ child being carried upon the donkey’s back.

They mature early, ready to work by the age of 3. Because they evolved in a harsh, dry environment, they don’t require as much food as other similarly sized equids.

Mating season: No specific season
Gestation: 11 to 14 months
Litter Size: 1 foal