Chinese conservationists breed unique deer species out of extinction

The milu deer are known for their unique look, that combines the look of four animals. They have hooves like a cow, a face like a horse, antlers that point backward not forward, like a reverse deer, and a long tail like a donkey. The deer also has historic significance, having existed in china for generations.

The deer was once endangered in China due to war and occupation at the end of the Qing Dynasty. But because Europe had some milu in zoos the animal population could be rehabilitated, and then brought back to China in the ’80s for further rehabilitation.

Guo Geng, vice director of the Beijing Milu Ecological Research Center, talked about the deer’s significance, “Our protecting of the milu is about protecting our living cultural heritage and natural heritage. It has been given to us by our ancestors. We have the responsibility to keep breeding them as Chinese living heritage. They are in history, culture, poems, words, books. But if outside of books they become extinct, then the next generation will be extremely regretful.”

The milu deer population now flourishes with 5,500 throughout China.