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Mar 3

World Wildlife Day

Fawn
Fawn
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Twin Fawns
Photo by Michael Doherty
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World Wildlife Day was designated to celebrate and raise awareness of the world’s wild fauna and flora.

A common animal but one that figures prominently throughout the man's history is the deer.  Deer appear in art from Paleolithic cave paintings onwards, and they have played a role in mythology, religion, and literature throughout history, as well as in heraldry

The two main groups of deer are the Cervinae, including the muntjac, the elk (wapiti), the fallow deer, and the chital; and the Capreolinae, including the reindeer (caribou), the roe deer, and the moose.

 

Female reindeer, and male deer of all species except the Chinese water deer, grow and shed new antlers each year.

Deer have been an integral part of fables and other literary works since the inception of writing dating back to Sumerian culture. In modern times, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings's Pulitzer Prize-winning 1938 novel The Yearling was about a boy's relationship with a baby deer.

 

And in a movie which tramautized many young viewers, the 1942 Walt Disney Pictures film, the namesake Bambi is a white-tailed deer (while in Felix Salten's original 1923 book Bambi, a Life in the Woods, he is a roe deer).

 

For more about deer in mythological works, click the twin fawns!