Persian fallow deer (Dama mesopotamica)
An extremely rare species in the wild, the Persian fallow deer (Dama mesopotamica), also known as the Mesopotamian fallow deer, has a short, smooth coat ranging from reddish-brown to ochre in colour. A band of white spots runs along the lower body, above which white spots are spread randomly, and a dark line, flanked by two rows of white spots or a solid white line, runs down the centre of the back to the tail. The muzzle and the undersides of the neck, chin and jowls are all white. Only male Persian fallow deer bear attractive antlers, which are rather thick and flattened.
The Persian fallow deer is similar in appearance to the European fallow deer (Dama dama), except for the Persian fallow deer is larger and lacks the large, flat ‘palm’ on the upper antlers. In the past there has been confusion over whether the Persian fallow deer constitutes its own species or is a subspecies of the European fallow deer; however, the Persian fallow deer is now considered to be a separate species.