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Saturday 30 August 2014

Doe! Young buck thinks he's a horse

Paddy Clancy

Published 20/01/2014 | 02:30

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Parkhill, the young deer who has set up home with a herd of horses, with his friend, Charlie. Photo: Emer OShea
Parkhill, the young deer who has set up home with a herd of horses, with his friend, Charlie. Photo: Emer OShea
Parkhill, the young deer who has set up home with a herd of horses. Photo: Emer OShea
Parkhill, the young deer who has set up home with a herd of horses. Photo: Emer OShea
Parkhill, the young deer who has set up home with a herd of horses. Photo: Emer OShea
Parkhill, the young deer who has set up home with a herd of horses. Photo: Emer OShea

A RED deer has set up home in a herd of 300 horses.

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The young buck with a beautiful pair of growing antlers suddenly appeared in a Donegal field three months ago -- and has settled in since. While at first he kept his distance from the horses, after about a week he started joining them for a daily feed of nuts.

He is particularly close to a black-and-white horse called Charlie and they now nuzzle up and lick each other, according to horse dealer Billy Armstrong.

Mr Armstrong (48) has named the year-old deer Parkhill after the area where he lives outside Ballyshannon, Co Donegal.

"At the start, he would run away from the horses when they were being fed. Now he has quietened down and once you put down the food he runs over right away," he said.

Mr Armstrong and his family have grown so attached to the deer that they now want to keep him as a farm pet.

However, David Dunne, chairman of the Wild Deer Association of Ireland, said Parkhill would soon go looking for love with his own kind: "Come October he will be looking for a bit of romance. He will travel any distance to find a doe. It may be that when the rutting season is over he will return to the horses he has grown (up) among."

Irish Independent

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