Atlas Obscura is organizing trips! Join us on an adventure »
Today Only: 50% off Atlas Obscura books and calendars at Barnes & Noble »

Detroit, MI

Fallow Deer at the Belle Isle Nature Zoo

Rare deer species in captivity on the island over which they used to run free. 

The herd of (mostly white) fallow deer contained at the Belle Isle Nature Zoo have not moved much, but have seen their environment changed drastically in recent decades.

Native to Detroit’s Belle Isle, the population of deer on the island had declined due to encroaching civilization, until in 2002, the remaining herd was moved into the now abandoned old Detroit zoo, and then transferred to the newer zoo facility where they currently reside. The 15 spotted deer can still be visited if you are in the Detroit area.