- Friday, 22 March 2013
Persian / Turkish Slipper
Stuart Morrison mentions it in his article about a Fallow Deer 'The White Doe' and I have also witnessed it to some extent in Roe Deer, I speak of course of the unusual quirk of nature that has been described as Persian or Turkish slipper.
Turkish/Persian Slipper is a term that describes the cleaves of deer when they become extraordinarily elongated. To such an extent that the cleaves appear to curl up at the end. To a small degree I have come across elongated cleaves in Roe deer on several occasions but have only seen more dramatic examples in photo's where cleaves have grown to some 4- 6 inches in excess of their normal length!
This winter has been one of the wettest winters on record and so it is perhaps not too much of a leap of logic to suggest that the soft earth has resulted in many deer's hooves not getting the necessary wear that they need to keep them in shape. One would anticipate that if this is the case many of these deer will soon get the required wear as we progress into spring and summer.
That said there are instances where soft wet earth does not appear to be the cause of this condition. Indeed there are well known reports from areas such as Lundy Island of the North Devon coast where a number of Sika deer have exhibited the condition despite the hardness of the topography. To some extent therefore Turkish slipper remains a mystery. Genetic abnormalities, age and Viral connections have all been proposed however there is as yet no firm explanation.
If there are any Deer Stalkers out there with a photo or experience of any such example please send it in and I'll be delighted to post it to this article for the benefit of other readers.