Red deer can once again be seen roaming the grounds of Bunratty Castle and Folk Park in Co. Clare.
Shannon Heritage is delighted to announce that the deer, which arrive in the park this week, include two females currently in calf and due to give birth in May. There will also be a young stag arriving at Bunratty.
Speaking about the arrival of the red deer, Niall O’Callaghan, Managing Director, Shannon Heritage said: “Red deer have been synonymous with Bunratty Folk Park for over thirty years. They have been a hugely popular attraction as people enjoy seeing such majestic animals at close quarters. They are also seen as a real symbolic animal of Ireland by overseas visitors in particular.
“Bunratty Castle and Folk Park is a living, working visitor attraction. We are really excited to have red deer back here at our site. With over 26 acres, our deer will have plenty of room to make themselves at home. The close ties between Shannon Heritage and our animals is evident in the fact that a stag is featured on our company brand logo.”
The red deer will join the growing number of animals that are currently on site at Bunratty Castle and Folk Park. These include poultry, hens, ducks, turkeys, geese, sheep, ewes and lambs. There are also Shetland ponies, shorthorn cattle, donkeys, and goats. Earlier this year Shannon Heritage also acquired two female Irish wolfhounds who are proving very popular with visitors.
Red deer are Ireland’s largest land mammal and the second largest deer species in Europe after the elk. They are the only native species to Ireland. Red deer are believed to have had a continuous presence in Ireland since the end of the last Ice Age (c. 10,000 BC).
Animals are also an important element at the Company’s Craggaunowen visitor attraction in Co. Clare, where breeds dating back to prehistoric times, including Wild Boar and Soay Sheep, are housed.