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A person walking through Studley Royal Deer Park in Ripon, North Yorkshire might have done a double take when they stumbled across a particularly good-looking Sika Deer. But not as a result of its pointed antlers or healthy coat - mainly because it's sporting a rear that looks remarkably like an owl.
Luckily, photographer Paul Taylor managed to capture the funny looking animal. He says: "This is my favourite capture due to the posture of the stag and the markings on its rear end.
"It almost seems to be conscious of it and one could be forgiven for feeling that it is irritated that I have taken a photograph of something which it finds embarrassing.
"This is one of those moments which reveals the wonder of nature. You may have seen a hundred deer before but their markings make them all unique."
There are roughly 500 deer living in the park, which can be seen all year round. However, visitors are warned to keep their distance in October and November because of mating season.
The Sika is one of three types of deer that can be spotted in the 800-acre park, including Red and Fallow deer. The Red deer is indigenous to the UK, however the Fallow species originates from France. They were brought over during the Norman conquest and introduced to the park all the way back in the 1600s.
But seeing a Sika deer in the UK should be treated as a special experience considering they're a long way from their native home of East Asia. In Taiwan, the deer is farmed for velvet antlers, which is a popular ingredient in Chinese medicine.
They're one of the few species of deer that doesn't lose its spots when it reaches maturity. Despite being from East Asia, they have been introduced in Western and Central Europe, Eastern America and New Zealand.
The deer at the Studley Royal Deer Park cause a bit of havoc for keepers. Park officials have been using metal railings on trees for the past 40 years because the deer can reportedly strip the bark and 'use it like chewing gum'. I can't imagine how bark would be remotely chewy but clearly the deer love it.
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