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Distressed Human or Sika Deer?

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July 14, 2009

Distressed Human or Sika Deer?

By Dave Hurteau

Whistling sika deer in the UK have confused local mountain rescue teams, who have been searching for humans who may be in harm, after they heard the sounds of what they thought were emergency whistles being blown.

From the BBC News:

The Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team made two separate fruitless searches.

New team leader John Stevenson said wildlife experts advised that it may have been the call of sika stags.

The animals make the whistling sound as a warning and during mating season, which runs from September to November.

Sika are also known to make raspberry noises.

In the first call-out last week, the mountain rescue team and a search and rescue helicopter spent six hours searching Glen Nevis after a family raised the alarm.

The team searched the same area for a further two hours the following night.

Mr Stevenson said: "On the second night we did hear a whistling noise and we thought it was some kind of bird.

"Later, local wildlife people told us that sika deer can make this sort of whistling type noises."

Click here to listen to the sika deer’s whistle.

Comments (5)

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from bluecollarkid wrote 4 years 40 weeks ago

I'm not absolute certain about this (and against my better judgment I continue on) but isn't "sika deer" redundant? If my understanding is correct, the term "sika" is used to refer to imported Japanese deer here in the states. I know it is the japanese word for deer. So, shouldn't we simply refer to the deer as "sika" or am I missing something here like a species designation?

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from seadog wrote 4 years 40 weeks ago

These deer ain't just whistlin Dixie. P.S. I think bluecollarkid is right, but if you just said sika to me I probably wouldn't remember that it's a deer.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 4 years 40 weeks ago

Shouldn't this rescue team be aware of naturally occurring sounds that could confuse them?

Raspberry noises as in the on the skin fart noise? Or raspberry noises as in "Hey! Other sikas! I found berries!"?

I think you meant the former, but either is pretty funny.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from 2Poppa wrote 4 years 40 weeks ago

I'd like to down load that whistle to my cell phone ... it would replace my elk call.

Probably make my wife more irritated!

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from FloridaHunter1226 wrote 4 years 40 weeks ago

Seems like that would be a very distinctive sound... maybe I could get that sound for my alarm clock. Nothing like waking up to the sound of whistling deer in the morning.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report

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from 2Poppa wrote 4 years 40 weeks ago

I'd like to down load that whistle to my cell phone ... it would replace my elk call.

Probably make my wife more irritated!

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from bluecollarkid wrote 4 years 40 weeks ago

I'm not absolute certain about this (and against my better judgment I continue on) but isn't "sika deer" redundant? If my understanding is correct, the term "sika" is used to refer to imported Japanese deer here in the states. I know it is the japanese word for deer. So, shouldn't we simply refer to the deer as "sika" or am I missing something here like a species designation?

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from seadog wrote 4 years 40 weeks ago

These deer ain't just whistlin Dixie. P.S. I think bluecollarkid is right, but if you just said sika to me I probably wouldn't remember that it's a deer.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 4 years 40 weeks ago

Shouldn't this rescue team be aware of naturally occurring sounds that could confuse them?

Raspberry noises as in the on the skin fart noise? Or raspberry noises as in "Hey! Other sikas! I found berries!"?

I think you meant the former, but either is pretty funny.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from FloridaHunter1226 wrote 4 years 40 weeks ago

Seems like that would be a very distinctive sound... maybe I could get that sound for my alarm clock. Nothing like waking up to the sound of whistling deer in the morning.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

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