December 1, 2011
Before dinner one evening, Caregiver Angela saw a beautiful, big, eight point white tail deer in the African Habitat. He moved comfortably around the yard, glancing at Flora on his way through. As he grazed his way past the barn he was suddenly joined by an even bigger buck. Both moved easily together, even grazing next to each other once in a while.
While Angela continued to quietly observe, a third smaller buck materialized out of the forest. The addition of the third buck changed the behavior of the two bigger deer, who started strutting with purpose, walking faster with heads held high.
All of a sudden, the two bigger bucks turned to face each other, lowered their heads, and locked antlers, pushing and shoving back and forth. This battle went on for a few minutes, and ended with the smaller of the two turning and bounding away.
His opponent moved to follow, then, from out of nowhere, came Flora, head up, ears out, and trunk in the air! She ran toward the biggest buck, and he ducked through the fence to the left side toward Barn Woods Road. Flora followed through the Brown Gate and pursued him for a distance.
Meanwhile, Tange had set her sights on the sparring partner of Flora’s subject, and you could see her feet moving so fast as she RAN toward the second buck—ears out, head and trunk up. She was very animated and tossed her head and ears all around as she ran. When he moved off toward the woods to the right of the barn, Tange wheeled through the open Green Gate and followed him all the way to the tree line. She blew and spun, smelling the air and looking very proud of herself—as she should be!
During all of this, the smaller third buck had left the scene, leaving the big guys to deal with the even bigger Girls.