Roe deer in the Royal Łazienki – one of our gardens’ inhabitants

Roe deer in the Royal Łazienki – one of our gardens’ inhabitants
Photo by Paweł Czarnecki

Since nearly a decade, a roe deer has lived in the Royal Łazienki gardens. It is fully tame – it does not fear visitors, and it often appears in the area around the escarpment near the Water Tower and in the Romantic Garden. It is not the only wild animal which lives here.

The roe deer often attracts the attention of the Royal Łazienki guests, especially considering the fact that while roaming around the gardens, it does not pay attention to people, and is easily photographed. There is no shortage of pictures and videos of the animal on the Internet.

The European roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) appeared in the Royal Łazienki nearly ten years ago. How exactly it came to be here is a matter of speculation – the animal is most likely a foundling. It did not manage to return to its natural habitat and lives alone.

However, it has fully settled down in the Royal gardens. Having lived among humans, it is no longer alarmed by them and does not flee from people strolling in the gardens. In its natural habitat, the animal’s flight distance is approx. 100-150 metres.

The roe deer, which has a large area at its disposal in the Royal Łazienki, prefers to stay in the vicinity of the escarpment near the Water Tower and in the Romantic Garden. In summer, it feeds on herbs as well as tree and shrub sprouts, often permanently destroying new plantings. In winter, it is regularly fed by Royal Łazienki staff. Its feeding rack, which – aside from hay – contains salt rich in macro and micronutrients, stands near the Old Orangery. The roe deer does not drink water; its only source of hydration is its feed with high water content.

In their natural environment, roe deer – the smallest species of the family Cervidae found in Poland – have a lifespan of 12-15 years. Their natural predators include bears, lynx, and wolves, and in the case of fawns and vulnerable specimen – also foxes.

The roe deer is not the only wild animal which has settled down in the Royal Łazienki. Others include martens, weasels, numerous predatory birds, and – on occasion – foxes.

Photo by Paweł Czarnecki
Photo by Paweł Czarnecki
Photo by Paweł Czarnecki