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Word of the Week: Cervid (White-tailed deer)
July 23, 2021 by Haya Aldoori

Welcome to Word of the Week! Stay tuned for a new word each Friday to amp up your nature vocabulary!

Word of the week is CERVID [SUR- vid] (noun): Any member of the deer family, Cervidae, comprising deer, caribou, elk, and moose, characterized by the bearing of antlers in the male or in both sexes.

Although High Park is in the heart of a really busy urban space, it is home to an incredible variety of wildlife! You see and hear many birds, lots of insects are busy crawling or flying, and sometimes snakes are slithering by your feet. Let’s not forget about the mammals that run, jump, and climb all over the park!

It is always a magical moment, when you get to see any of the resident animals, but there are also some special cases where you come across an animal that doesn’t necessarily live in High Park but that likes to pass through.

If you wander the trails in the Black Oak Savannah or even along the edges of High Park, you could be greeted by a special park passer-by from the cervidae family: A White-tailed deer!

Despite what one would expect, these cervids are not residents of High Park. Because of that, sightings of these larger mammals don’t happen that often. However, when they do happen, it is no doubt a memorable experience.

So how do the White-tailed deer get here? Well, these gentle High Park visitors are thought to arrive by making their way through Toronto’s ravine system and along the Humber River.

Keep an eye out for White-tailed deer on your next High Park visit!

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