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.