Seven red deer who made their way to De Spijk-Bremerberg, a nature reserve near Biddinghuizen in Flevoland this week, could become a major tourist attraction if managed well, forestry commission Staatsbosbeheer has said.
The animals are thought to have travelled from the Veluwe national park, swimming across a number of lakes to get to the area.
‘I haven’t spotted them yet myself but they have been photographed and they have left proof of their presence,’ warden Jan Griekspoor told local broadcaster Omroep Flevoland.
Griekspoor said he expects more deer to make the trip. ‘If they like the place, and it looks as if they do, there will be young. They could become a major draw,’ Griekspoor said.
Not all locals are happy with the new arrivals. Farmer Peter van Damme told the broadcaster he is worried about his crops. ‘If they are allowed to roam freely they can do a lot of damage,’ he said.
Farming lobby group LTO has said the provincial authorities must come up with a policy to deal with roaming red deer. At the moment such a policy is only in place for the deer at the Oostvaardersplassen, which is the only other habitat of red deer in the Netherlands apart from the Veluwe.
Thousands of deer in the Oostvaardersplassen reserve have been culled in recent years.