Edmund Rice Primary School title_pwork.gif (1797 bytes)
Our School
Our Town
Meet the Staff
Blessed Edmund Rice
American Friends
Stellar Project
Our Tayto Website
Our visit to Microsoft
Pupils Workoff_sport.gif (1037 bytes)

What's New
Contact Us

The Sika deer (Fia Seapanach) --:
The sika deer is the smallest of the three type of deer found in Ireland. The summer coat is light brown with white spots, which go in lines across its back. The winter coat is dark grey and can look black in the distance.  The sika deer was first brought to Ireland about 1860, where they were put on the Powerscourt  Estate near Enniskerry, County Wicklow. In that year, Lord Powerscourt bought a stag and three hinds with him from Japan. A few years later, some of them escaped from his estate and spread across the forest areas of County Wicklow.  Most of the sika deer in the country are descendents from these four animals. You can find them in County Kerry, Wicklow and Fermanagh. The sika deer stands between two and three feet high at the shoulders. The sika deer antlers are V shaped each with four points, usually. The antlers are shorter and have fewer points than those of the red deer. Like most other deer the antlers grow in summer and drop off in spring. Its ears are smaller as well.  The animal looks well fed and has fairly short legs. 

The mating period or rut takes place usually in September, when the stags who normally live on their own, come looking for a girl friend or girl friends to have a family with. He goes around the place making a loud whistle or scream. This whistle, which is not unlike a human scream, is usually given in quick succession. Other stags in the area, when they hear this whistle, usually come to see what is going on, hoping to find some hinds for themselves. When two stags meet there is usually a big fight and they lock their antlers together. The stag that is the strongest wins and the loser has to ramble off and find another girlfriend for himself, somewhere else. Sometimes they hurt each other very badly.

The young calf is born in May or June. They can usually run around the place a few hours after been born. They are shaky on their feet for a few days. They eat mainly grass, brambles, tree bark or what ever they can find in the forest. They usually feed at dawn or dusk and as a result are not often seen during the day. They are crossbred with the other deer in Ireland.

Like most other deer, they can cause much damage to young trees, because of this their numbers have to be controlled. Hunters are allowed into forests to hunt at certain times of the year. The hunters have to get a special licence to do this. The meat of the deer is called venison. They sell it in the local supermarket. I have never eaten it. My mother says I wouldn’t like it. I prefer burgers and chips.  

Liam Flaherty