The red deer is the national animal of Ireland. They are the largest and only native species of deer found in Ireland. Red deer have a rich red-colored coat that darkens to grey-brown in winter.
Red deer have inhabited Ireland since the last Ice Age, around 10,000 B.C. While they freely roamed during that time, as hunting, commercialization and deforestation increased, many populous herds went extinct.
Red deer now have their own preservation area in the woodlands and mountains around Killarney. Thanks to two large estates banding together to save the remaining red deer from extinction, that preservation area is known as Killarney National Park.