Kvarner newsletter / no 29

Holiday in the company of fallow deer

If you're coming to Delnice to relax in the beautiful green landscapes typical of the Gorski kotar area, do not miss the chance to visit Japlenški vrh forest park. Here you will encounter its rather unusual inhabitants – a large herd of fallow deer that has become quite used to the everyday visits of curious tourists.

Japlenški vrh forest-park, located in the immediate vicinity of Delnice, the largest urban centre in the Gorski kotar area, abounds in numerous natural and tourist attractions. One of them is located next to the Hunting Lodge and the Motel Delnice – a fenced-off game preserve with a herd of fallow deer.
This small zoo belongs to the Croatian Forests company and covers an area of 2 hectares. At the moment it is home to 37 deer, but this number will soon be increased.
The preserve was established eight years ago. At the beginning it had just a few deer families, which over time became a larger herd, although this is not an indigenous type of deer. The first deer were brought to Delnice from the Brijuni islands (local people say that they were traded for hay), and have since then lived in harmony with the new environment, where they are now domesticated and used to the local conditions.
Over time, the deer got used to the increasing number of visitors. Tourists who visit this preserve can also learn something more about this deer community. Although these are wild animals and do not come closer to people, already a look at them will be enough to make a lasting impression. Particularly eager visitors are local boys – they visit the deer daily, hoping that the herd will get to know them better. They wish to hand feed them, just like Miroslav Pleše does, the initiator of this idea and an enthusiast whose help and care are essential for the existence of this preserve.