Parks & Recreation
Meet the Whitetail Deer at Wildwood Zoo
We have several white-tailed deer at Wildwood Zoo. We have one buck in our herd. Dash is a two year old buck that joined the zoo in March 2012. The rest of our herd is made up of older does, aged 8-14. We had three fawns born in 2013. These are the first fawns we have had in about 10 years.
We also added a new white, white-tailed doe in 2013. Her name is Independence or Indy for short. She is not an albino deer but a white phase of deer. She was born July 4th, 2012.
The deer are usually fed in the late morning or early afternoon and usually come up to feed shortly after their keeper leaves. During the summer months the deer also enjoy lying around near their deer house in the early evening. A good way to spot the deer herd is to drive the zoo's Large Animal Drive.
Whitetail deer are large hooved animals that are widely distributed across the United States. They typically weigh between 100 and 200 pounds. Males and females are easy to tell apart most of the year. Bucks have antlers throughout most of the year. Females (does) never develop antlers. Whitetail deer eat a variety of vegetation: everything from tree buds to cactus. Because the forage they eat is very rough, their teeth wear down throughout their life and dental wear can be used to age a deer. Whitetail deer can live to be twenty years old in captivity. In Wisconsin wild bucks do not often make it to the age of 3. In rare instances a wild buck may make it to age 8 and a doe to 11. The average age of the entire deer herd in Wisconsin in the fall is only 2 years.