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Whistling sika deer prompt rescue attempts in Scotland

July 13, 2009 |  6:01 pm

In the last week, the Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team in Lochaber, Scotland, has been dispatched twice to investigate a noise that concerned citizens described as sounding like an emergency whistle.  But, the BBC reports, despite searching for six hours on the first occasion and two hours on the second, would-be rescuers turned up nothing.  A rescue helicopter was even dispatched with no results.

But, the rescue team leader said, a strange whistling noise -- maybe a bird -- was heard on the second rescue attempt.  The team consulted wildlife experts, who offered a startling explanation for the noise.

Its source, the wildlife experts suggested, was a deer.  A species called the sika deer is known for its haunting call, which, you guessed it, sounds something like an emergency whistle.  The species is native to Asia, but was introduced to British parks in the 19th century.  Since then, some sika deer have left the parks and wandered into the countryside, taking their bizarre calls with them.

-- Lindsay Barnett

Video: enlightningbolt via YouTube

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