Biologist Joe Hutto spent seven years living among a herd of wild mule deer.
During the seven years he spent with deer, Hutto formed an intimate bond with the animals and learned how intelligent they really are.
“Mule deer are a profoundly intelligent animal,” he says. “They in fact may have pound for pound the largest brain of any deer in the world.”
One of the young does named “Rag Tag” actually grooms Hutto, a gesture that mule deer reserve for family members.
“Mule deer do not randomly groom each other. It is something that occurs within the family. This deer thinks of me as one of her family members.It’s phenomenal and it’s actually quite an honor to be included as one of them.”
Hutto’s experiences with the mule deer were filmed for the program Touching the Wild, which aired Wednesday on PBS.
The following clip from the program shows the strong bond Hutto formed with the mule deer herd.
This wasn’t the first time Hutto spent learning to live with wild animals. He was also featured in the Emmy-award winning documentary My Life as a Turkey, which explored his experiences living among wild turkeys.
What do you think Hutto’s connection to the mule deer? Share your thoughts in the comments section.
Featured image via YouTube/PBS