Our animals.

The Scottish Deer Centre is the home to over 150 animals made up from 31 different species.

With the help of the animals and our members of staff, The Scottish Deer Centre raise awareness around important conservational matters, achieved by our daily education talks and conservational focused display boards which are spread throughout the centre, which help educate all of our visitors and more importantly the next generation. As proud owners of certain animals which are now long lost from the Scottish countryside such as the nearly extinct Scottish Wildcat and Lynx this message is more important than ever.

We are open all year round with lots to see and do! 


Eurasian lynx

Often referred to as the ‘ghosts of the forest’, Eurasian Lynx are shy, elusive mammals which rely on the thick cover of dense woodland to ambush prey.
Learn More

Scottish Wildcat

Although similar in appearance to domestic tabby cats, the Scottish Wildcat differs both genetically and anatomically, with a broad, blunt, ringed tail their most distinguishing feature. Once widespread across Britain, these solitary, secretive animals are now only found in tiny, fragmented populations across the Scottish Highlands.

Asian Short Claw Otter

The smallest of all 13 otter species, the Asian-Short Clawed Otter is one of the most adaptable and charismatic. They are crustacean and invertebrate specialists, with fish a much less significant part of their diet; they hunt primarily with their paws and spend up to 80% of their time on land.

Eurasian Grey Wolves

[Information Coming Soon]


Axis Deer

With permanently spotted coats, Axis Deer are considered one of the most beautiful deer in the world and across Asia also the most successful. Whereas other species have declined due to hunting and habitat loss, Axis Deer populations are currently more stable, however their future depends on the security of protected habitats.

Barasingha Deer

A large, vibrant but extremely shy deer, the Barasingha is a wetland specialist and thrives around swamps and marshes. It is known, and named, for it’s often elaborate ‘twelve-tined’ antlers, with at least 6 tines per antler and in some cases up to 10.

Bactrian Deer

[Bactrian Deer Info Coming Soon]

European Elk

The European Elk, known as Moose in North America and Canada, is found across northern parts of Europe, particularly Scandinavia. They are the largest species of deer in the world. European Elk are solitary animals and occupy a largely woodland habitat, eating leaves, twigs or bark, as well as grasses and aquatic plants.

Fallow Deer

Fallow Deer were said to have been introduced to the UK by the Romans, however these animals died out after the fall of the Roman Empire and they were reintroduced in the 11th century for ornamental deer parks.

Hog Deer

Small and secretive, the Hog Deer is named as such due to the similarities in their appearance and behaviour to wild pigs. With short, stocky bodies, raised hindquarters and head held low, they characteristically rush through thick vegetation or into water to escape from threats. Close bonds exist between mothers and offspring, however they are otherwise solitary and will scatter when threatened rather than herding together. The species has suffered catastrophic declines due to hunting for antlers and meat, as well as habitat loss and degradation. Over 90% of their population was lost between 1991 and 2012, they are now very fragmented across their range and locally extinct in many areas.

Pere David Deer

Originally native to China, this species of deer now exists only in captivity, however there may be the possibility of establishing free-ranging populations as numbers increase. A breeding programme was started at Woburn Abbey Estate using the last 18 members of the species at the beginning of the 20th century. This ultimately saved the species after years of hunting and habitat loss in China had decimated numbers. Their natural habitat is thought to have been marshy, often flooded grasslands where they feed on reeds, grass and leaves. Known as Milu in China, they were said to be 4 different animals put together, having the neck of a camel, the tail of a donkey, the feet of a cow and the antlers of a stag while not quite looking like any of these animals.

Red Deer

The red deer is one of only two species of deer which are native to the UK. Once predominantly a woodland creature, they have adapted to open hillsides after mass deforestation across their range, particularly the Scottish Highlands. Much of the red deer’s native range stretches across Europe to the middle-east, and even parts of North Africa. The red deer is the UK’s largest land mammal and numbers have soared after the extinction of native top predators such as the wolf. They are an iconic species, and the yearly red deer rut is one of the wild’s most wonderful spectacles.

Reeves' Muntjac Deer

The Reeves’ muntjac is one of the smallest species of deer in the world. They are native to China and Taiwan and may be in decline in some regions. It has an established population in the UK after introductions, and possible escapes from captivity. Muntjac like to occupy woodland habitat, sometimes found along the shrubby edges but they like the dense forest cover. Male muntjac grow small antlers of one single tine, however they also have tusks similar to the Chinese Water Deer.

Sika Deer

Sika Deer are a highly versatile deer species which adapt well to different habitats and diets. Although normally wary of people, they are considered sacred in Japan and the protection this offers them has led to them openly approaching and feeding from humans. Morphing from a rich chestnut spotted summer coat to a dark brown-black appearance in autumn, the high-pitched screams and whistles of rutting Sika stags can be heard up to 1km away. Outside of the rut, they are typically solitary. Whilst native to Japan and China, Sika have also been introduced to Europe, the USA and New Zealand. UK populations are high, particularly in Scotland, and they frequently cross-breed with Red Deer.


This species of deer has a wide distribution in the far northern tundra and taiga areas of Europe, Siberia, North America and Canada. It is the only species of deer to be domesticated by the nomadic Sami people, and they are the only species where both male and females grow antlers. Reindeer have large, flat, almost circular hooves which act like snow shoes while walking across the tundra, and they also use them to shovel through the snow to find food underneath. They have many inbuilt heating systems and a thick, double layered coat to keep out the harsh arctic cold. Feeding on herbs, lichens, sedges and funghi, they occupy tundra and boreal forest habitats.


The North American Elk or Wapiti is the second largest deer species in the world and can weigh up to 500kg and reach over 1.5m to the shoulder. They are a migratory species, annually moving up to 150km between summer and winter territories in large herds and often across large bodies of water. During the rut, these normally very vocal deer become even more so, with shrill ‘bugling’ of males carrying for some distance. Populations across North America vary widely, with some areas overstocked and others far more sparsely populated. Some of the greatest balance in Wapiti populations include areas where wolves have been reintroduced.

White-Lipped Deer

True to their name, the White-Lipped Deer is characterised by pure white lips and chin, contrasting with their base greyish-brown coat. They are high alpine specialists – highly agile, expert climbers and with various adaptations and acute senses to support them in harsh conditions. They also share several common traits with reindeer, including ‘clicking’ tendons in hind ankles for communication, and large, flattened antlers. White-Lipped Deer populations are small and fragmented, and habitat pressures and hunting have greatly reduced their overall range across the Tibetan plateau. Increased protections appear to be helping some populations to recover slowly however they are a difficult species to assess.

Long-eared Owl

The Long-Eared Owl (Asio otus) is a captivating species known for its distinctively long ear tufts, which are not actually ears but feathers that help with camouflage and communication. Found in various parts of Europe, Asia, and North America, these medium-sized owls are primarily nocturnal hunters, relying on their excellent hearing to detect and capture prey such as small mammals, birds, and insects. With a wingspan of around 95-110 cm

Eurasian Kestrel

The Eurasian Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) is a small but mighty bird of prey commonly found across Europe, Asia, and North Africa. Known for its agile flight and hovering hunting technique, the Eurasian Kestrel is a masterful predator of small mammals, insects, and birds. With a wingspan of about 70-80 cm

Eurasian Eagle Owl

The Eurasian Eagle Owl (Bubo bubo) is a magnificent and formidable bird of prey that commands attention with its immense size and striking appearance. As one of the largest owl species in the world, it can reach a wingspan of up to 188-200 cm. Found across Europe, Asia, and parts of North Africa, these owls possess distinct features such as piercing orange or yellow eyes, prominent ear tufts, and a large facial disk that helps to funnel sound towards their ears. With their incredible nocturnal vision and exceptional hearing,

Striated Caracara

The Striated Caracara (Phalcoboenus australis), also known as the Johnny Rook, is a distinctive bird of prey endemic to the Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic Ocean. This unique raptor stands out with its contrasting plumage, featuring a black body, white neck, and face adorned with bold, bright red skin around the eye. With a wingspan of about 100-120 cm (39-47 inches) and weighing around 650-900 grams (1.4-2 pounds), the Striated Caracara is a medium-sized bird known for its opportunistic feeding behavior. It exhibits a versatile diet, feeding on a variety of prey such as insects, small mammals, birds, carrion, and even scavenging on the remains of marine mammals along the coast. These intelligent birds are also known to interact with humans, often approaching visitors and even stealing items of interest. The Striated Caracara's close association with the Falkland Islands and its intriguing behaviors make it an emblematic species of this remote and unique archipelago. Haggis* thus adapted can only travel with any ease or speed in one direction – clock-wise (Haggis Scottii dexterous), or anti-clockwise (Haggis Scotti sinistrous), depending on whether the legs are longer on the left or the right side of the animal. If the shorter legs do not remain on the up-slope side of the hapless beastie it is in severe danger of falling over sideways and rolling to the bottom of the hillside.

Harris Hawk

The Harris Hawk (Parabuteo unicinctus) is a striking and sociable bird of prey native to the southwestern United States, Mexico, and parts of South America. With a wingspan of about 100-120 cm (39-47 inches) and weighing around 900-1,200 grams (2-2.6 pounds), the Harris Hawk is a medium-sized raptor known for its exceptional teamwork during hunting. These hawks have a beautiful plumage, featuring a combination of dark brown and chestnut feathers, with white markings on the underside and a distinctive reddish tail. Unlike many other raptors, Harris Hawks are highly social, often hunting in family groups known as "packs" or "casts."

Lanner Falcon

The Lanner Falcon (Falco biarmicus) is a majestic and agile bird of prey found in various regions across Africa, Europe, and parts of Asia. With a wingspan of approximately 90-105 cm (35-41 inches) and weighing around 600-900 grams (1.3-2 pounds), Lanner Falcons are medium-sized raptors known for their incredible speed and aerial acrobatics. These falcons exhibit a beautiful plumage, characterized by a combination of sandy brown, cream, and gray feathers, along with distinctive dark streaks on their underside. Lanner Falcons are versatile hunters, preying on a wide range of small to medium-sized birds and mammals.

Lugger Falcon

[Information coming soon]

Saker Falcon

The Saker Falcon (Falco cherrug) is a magnificent bird of prey known for its impressive size and powerful flight. Found across a vast range spanning from Eastern Europe to Central Asia, the Saker Falcon has a wingspan of about 105-129 cm (41-51 inches) and weighs around 800-1,600 grams (1.8-3.5 pounds). This raptor possesses a striking appearance, with a combination of dark brown feathers on its upper body, pale underparts, and distinctive dark streaks on its chest. Saker Falcons are agile hunters, known for their ability to pursue and capture prey mid-flight. Their diet mainly consists of small mammals, birds, and occasionally reptiles.

Snowy Owl

The Snowy Owl (Bubo scandiacus) is a captivating and iconic bird species that inhabits the Arctic regions of North America and Eurasia. With its distinctive all-white plumage, the Snowy Owl is beautifully adapted to its snowy surroundings, making it a symbol of winter and the far northern landscapes. This large owl boasts a wingspan of approximately 125-150 cm (49-59 inches) and weighs around 1.8-3 kilograms (4-6.6 pounds), with females being larger than males. Snowy Owls are primarily diurnal hunters, taking advantage of the long daylight hours in their habitat. Their diet primarily consists of lemmings, but they are opportunistic predators and may also prey on birds, small mammals, and even fish.

Tawny Owl

The Tawny Owl (Strix aluco) is a beloved and widespread owl species found throughout Europe, Asia, and parts of North Africa. Recognizable for its medium size and distinctive facial disk, the Tawny Owl possesses a mottled brown plumage, blending in seamlessly with its woodland habitat. Active primarily at night, these owls are skilled nocturnal hunters with a diet consisting of small mammals, birds, insects, and even amphibians. Tawny Owls are known for their haunting hooting calls, which are often associated with the nighttime ambiance of forests. Nesting in tree cavities, they exhibit exceptional parenting skills, caring for their young until they are ready to venture out on their own.


Wild Haggis

The Wild Haggis is a small, rough-haired quadruped creature, native to the Scottish Highlands.  A notable feature is that the legs on one side of the animal’s body are both significantly longer than those on the other, this being a local long-term evolutionary adaptation to living on the steep sides of Scottish mountains. Haggis* thus adapted can only travel with any ease or speed in one direction – clock-wise (Haggis Scottii dexterous), or anti-clockwise (Haggis Scotti sinistrous), depending on whether the legs are longer on the left or the right side of the animal. If the shorter legs do not remain on the up-slope side of the hapless beastie it is in severe danger of falling over sideways and rolling to the bottom of the hillside.

Scottish Highland Cattle

[Highland Cow Info Coming soon]

Corn Snake

[Corn Snake Info Coming soon]

Giant African Snail

[Giant African Snail Info Coming soon]
Want a memory you won't forget? Try our experiences! With a whole host of experiences on offer there is something for everyone.
Learn More
Sponsoring an animal is a great way to support The Scottish Deer Centre's conservation work and the animals at the centre.
Click Here
Find Us
Learn about where The Scottish Deer Centre and how to get here.
Click Here
Previous slide
Next slide
Add to cart
%d bloggers like this: