The Red Deer (Cervus elaphus) inhabits most of Europe, the Caucasus Mountains region, Asia Minor, Iran, parts of western Asia, and central Asia. It also inhabits the Atlas Mountains region between Morocco and Tunisia in northwestern Africa, being the only species of deer to inhabit Africa.
Red deer are herbivores, which means they only eat plants. Their diet consists of grass, heather, bark, tubers, roots, fruits, seeds, and the buds, shoots, and leaves of trees.
Just before mating season, which starts every September and is also known as the rut, everything changes. The stags leave their herds and head off alone. This change in behavior is caused by changing hormones. The testosterone coursing through their bodies also leads to physical changes. They become more muscular and grow long hair around their necks.
The solitary stags then go in search of females. Once found, they compete for their attention by roaring. This sounds like a cross between a lion's roar and a bull's bellow and can sometimes lead to quite violent fights between the stags. The larger the harem a stag manages to acquire, the more offspring he will have the following year. The calves are born in late May or early June.