German stag

Wikimedia/Maxwell Hamilton

German Stag Escapes Hunting Season by Moving in With Cows

A stag in Germany realized he was safer with the cows than the hunters
German stag

Wikimedia/Maxwell Hamilton

A German stag has managed to evade hunters for several years by moving in with a local herd of cows.

A German stag living in a popular hunting area did not get to be five years old by being stupid, and now it appears that he’s made a good, safe life for himself by pretending to be a cow.

According to The Local, the deer lives in north Germany near a forest in Flensburg. Hunters are encouraged to hunt deer in the forest, both for wild meat and to help keep the deer from overpopulating and destroying the forest trees by chewing off all their bark. It’s a tough life for deer in that forest, but one of them had the bright idea of going and joining a herd of cattle grazing on a nature reserve. There’s plenty of food there, nobody hunts him, and he appears to have made friends with the cows. Locals love this and have named him Sven.

Sven is estimated to be about five years old, and he’s very mature and sizable for a deer in the area, probably in large part because he’s been spending so much time with the cows. He’s been living with them for at least two years, though he has been known to disappear sometimes. Local landowners and cattle ranchers concerned with Sven’s safety have decided to give him a transmitter so they can keep track of him, and try to keep him from getting shot at and turned into venison.

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The cows Sven is living with are Galloway cattle, which is a popular breed of beef cattle. Moving in with beef cattle would be a risky proposition for Sven if he were a bull, but since he’s a deer, none of the ranchers are interested in making him into a steak.