The Animal Talent

The Animal Talent

The Animal Talent

Animal notes + -

Deer are hoofed ruminant mammals.  The two main groups of deer are the Cervinae, including the muntjac, the elk, the red deer, and the fallow deer; and the Capreolinae, including the reindeer, white-tailed deer, the roe deer and the moose. Male deer of almost all species, as well as female reindeer, grow and shed new antlers each year. 


For many types of deer in modern English usage, the male is a buck and the female a doe.  A stag is a male (usually red) deer, only after its 5th year.


Though of a similar build, deer are strongly distinguished from antelopes by their antlers, which are temporary and regularly regrown unlike the permanent horns of bovids.  Deer exhibit a broad variation in proportions. For example: The largest deer is the moose, which is nearly 2.6 metres tall and weighs up to 800kg.  The elk stands 1.4–2 metres at the shoulder and weighs 240–450 kg.  The northern pudu is the smallest deer in the world; it reaches merely 32–35cm at the shoulder and weighs only 3.3–6 kg.


Sexual dimorphism is quite pronounced – in most species males tend to be larger than females and, except for the reindeer, only males possess antlers.


Physical characteristics typical of deer include long, powerful legs, a diminutive tail and long ears.  Their physicality means that they are excellent jumpers and swimmers.


Coat colour generally varies between red and brown, though it can be as dark as chocolate brown in the tufted deer or have a greyish tinge as in elk. Different species of brocket deer vary from grey to reddish brown in coat colour. Several species such as the chital, the fallow deer and the sika deer feature white spots on a brown coat. Deer undergo two moults in a year; for instance, in red deer the red, thin-haired summer coat is gradually replaced by the dense, greyish brown winter coat in autumn, which in turn gives way to the summer coat in the following spring.


Deer appear in art from Paleolithic cave paintings onwards and they have played a role in mythology, religion, and literature throughout history, as well as in heraldry, such as red deer that appear in the coat of arms of Åland.


In Christmas lore, reindeer are often depicted pulling the sleigh of Santa Claus.  Our socialised reindeer are available for hire for seasonal events, PR stunts and also Christmas TV ads or films if required.


All species of deer have been an integral part of fables and other literary works since the inception of writing.  In the 1942 Walt Disney Pictures film, Bambi is a white-tailed deer, while in Felix Salten’s original 1923 book Bambi, a Life in the Woods, he is a roe deer.  In C. S. Lewis’s 1950 fantasy novel The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe the adult Pevensies, now kings and queens of Narnia, chase the White Stag on a hunt, as the Stag is said to grant its captor a wish. The hunt is key in returning the Pevensies to their home in England.  In the 1979 book The Animals of Farthing Wood, The Great White Stag is the leader of all the animals.


When used in studio or location based photography, deer suit seasonal themes as well as bringing to mind themes of strength, elegance and tradition.  Filming with deer can be slightly tricky as some species tend to be quite skittish, though our expert handlers can guide you through the experience.  It is possible to work with deer in the studio and out on location.

Crew notes + -

We supply professional animal location handlers around the world to ensure you get all the shots you require and, as overseers to ensure the wild is not disturbed, the crew will always be safe and no welfare regulations are ever breached.


It isn’t just the animals that are well trained, our team including our handlers are also highly experienced and fully qualified experts in the field. 


Your handler will take full control of any animals on set and ensure the entire shoot runs properly. They will also fully manage the welfare of all the animals both on and off set; the safety and welfare of the animals is their prime concern.  All of our handling is strictly force-free and only positive, reward based practices are deployed. This way you can have total confidence that by booking With The Animal Talent everything is taken care of legally, professionally and ethically.


The Performing Animals Licence is no longer relevant (it was scrapped in 2019) and has been replaced with the Animal Activity Licence, which we hold.

Special measures + -

All of our deer and reindeer are covered by a £10 million Public Liability Insurance policy. 


Some species of deer are either nocturnal or crepuscular, so care must be taken to work within their natural waking hours if possible.  


If you’re looking to rent a deer for your media project, a general licence for the movement of deer must be obtained from DEFRA.  Our animal agents can organise this for you so please contact us to discuss requirements.


If any species of animal listed under the Dangerous Wild Animals Act are required, special measures will need to be put into place for the shoot. Precisely what is appropriate will vary species to species, but may include sectioned off areas where only trained handlers are allowed. In the event of large and dangerous carnivores, a specifically built green screen studio can also be supplied.

Fallow Deer 1Fallow Deer 2Fallow Deer 3Red Deer 1Red Deer 2Red Deer 3Reindeer 1Christmas Reindeer 1Reindeer 3Reindeer 4Reindeer at Christmas