In eastern England, the rutting season of this small, non-native deer is now in full swing. But, without antlers to lock together, how do rival males determine mating rights? The teddy-bearfaced bucks do battle with their sharp, 6cm-long tusks. It’s not uncommon to see scarred animals in winter, though most clashes stop short of bloodshed; instead, adversaries size each other up by walking in parallel until one buck backs down. The species is in decline in its Asian homeland, yet thought to be increasing here, In fact, East Anglia and Bedfordshire holds around a tenth of the world’s total population.
TOP TIP Deer forage in the open in winter so are easier to see. Try RSPB Strumpshaw Fen.