A Flora and Fauna of Symi

A personal guide to the wildlife of Symi and beyond

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Rhodian Fallow Deer

Rhodian wild fallow deer. One theory supports the idea that the Crusaders brought them to protect their camps from snakes. The antlers secrete an alkali substance that the snakes don't like. It is said there is documentary evidence for this. Another theory believes that they were bought by the Venetians. There is archeological evidence for fallow deer in the Eastern Aegean as far back as the 6th century BC. So you can take your pick on that one. The buck only has antlers and stands smaller than other fallow deers at 1 metre and are known locally as platoni. I photographed these in the south of the island. They didn't hang around for long.


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