Wildwood Zoo

Meet the White-tailed Deer at Wildwood Zoo

 white-tailed deer

We have several white-tailed deer at Wildwood Zoo. We have two bucks (male deer) in our herd.  Dash is a 5-year-old buck that joined the zoo in March 2012. Grant is the other buck that was born at the zoo in 2013. The rest of our herd is made up of older does of various ages. 

Our white white-tailed deer is named Independence or Indy for short.  She is not an albino deer, but rather a completely white piebald deer.  She was born July 4, 2012.

The deer are usually fed in the late morning or early afternoon and often come up to feed shortly after their keeper leaves. There are several deer that were hand-raised; two of them (Desti and Graci) were raised by Laura & Tom Johnson and donated to the Zoo in 2015.  These deer are quite tame and often approach Zookeepers for an early handout at feeding time.  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.

White-tailed 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.  White-tailed 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.  White-tailed deer can live to be 20 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.

White-tailed Deer Range in North America
 map whitetail deer
For more information, please visit the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources