White-Tailed Deer, The National Symbol of Costa Rica Wildlife

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Declared national symbol, by President José María Figueres Olsen, on May 2nd, 1995, by law number 7497.

Its name comes from its short white tail. The White-Tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) is medium, thin and with long legs. Its color is brown and the inside is white. It is a mammal of the Artidactilus order, the Deer family.

It weighs from 55 kg to 242 kg and its height is from 1.05m to 1.55m. Gestation lasts 7 months and a half, and has one to two offspring. Their food consists of grass, leaves, shoots, twigs, fruits and flowers of various plants. The White-Tailed Deer can live for 10 years, and 20 in captivity. Their babies have white paints that passed by unnoticed and disappear during growth.

Can live at sea level or at the foot of the mountains, but the savannas of Guanacaste have been theirs home, especially the Santa Rosa National Park. It is usually seen in flocks or groups with about 6 familiar members at night, dawn and morning, but it can also be seen alone. When it detects the danger, he flees jumping nimbly strong, lifting his white tail to prevent the other members of the herd. It can reach a speed of 56 km/h, and it is also a good swimmer.

In Costa Rica it is difficult to see because it is an extinction threatened specie by poaching, as it is pursued for their meat, fur, and their antlers as a trophy on display. Also for urban development which has been shifting. Their most dangerous enemies, besides man, are the puma and the jaguar.

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