The Dama-Dama Deer is a protected species, that you will only find in the island of Rhodes. It lives in pines and cypress forrest, where it can find water to consume throughout the year.
There are many legends about how this deer was brought to the island. The strongest one supports that they have been in Rhodes from ancient times, in the 6th century BC. Back then, the island was named “Elafousa”, after the many deers living there.
Another interesting legend states that, the deers were brought to Rhodes by the Crusaders in the Medieval times, in order to protect their camps from the snakes. Although the deers do not kill snakes, their horns produce a substance with a smell that makes the snakes to turn away.
You will find two deer statues, a feminine and a male, standing at the Mandraki Harbor, in the town of Rhodes. An elegant symbol for an elegant island such as the one of Rhodes.