Kenting National Park Administration officials said today that they discovered a decapitated Formosan sika deer in Kenting National Park, UDN reported. It is unclear when the deer was beheaded, but officials said that this is the first instance of such an illegal hunt and the department would step up patrols.
Officials added that some visitors have been know to hire locals to hunt the deer in the region. Generally the hunters would claim the deer’s body for venison, which leaves officials perplexed as to why only the head was removed.
Taiwan has sought to restore the native deer population in the last 20 years. In 1984 Taiwan’s Council of Agriculture funded the Sika Deer Reintroduction Project, with 22 deer transferred from the Taipei Zoo to Kenting National Park. The total Formosan sika deer population is estimated at 2000. Most deer deaths occur as the animals eat local farmers’ crops or run into traffic.