Deer Park Žehušice

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Deer Park Žehušice is a natural reserve located close to village Žehušice, Czech Republic.

In 1826, Count Matthias Thun-Hohenstein decided to drain fishpond Kravinec located behind Žehušice Castle and to build a fence around the area. A park consisting of meadows and groves, covering about 2.5 km², was created. Four years later, Matthias obtained several white deer from Count Kinsky from Chlumec nad Cidlinou. The origin of the deer is disputed. The species were likely either from India or from Persia. This kind of breed was often short-lived, the herds held at the same time by Counts Kinsky, Czernin and Schwarzenberg were on the verge of extinction quite soon. However, in Žehušice are the white deer bred till the present.

The owners failed to obtain new white deer to introduce fresh blood into the Žehušice line. Therefore a red deer from a nearby park was selected and let in the reserve. This method of renewing the blood line worked, however the result of mixing genes for colour remained quite unpredictable. As expected, some of the fawns were rust-colored. However, even a pair of rust-colored deer sometimes gave birth to a white fawn. Currently there are approximately 130 animals, including those with standard and transient colouring. The natural reserve is not accessible to visitors at the present time.

The deer park is located about 15 km to the east of Kutná Hora. In 1990, a TV series The Territory of White Deer was filmed there.

Coordinates: 49°57′43.304″N 15°25′34.696″E / 49.96202889°N 15.42630444°E / 49.96202889; 15.42630444