Roe deer are Jeju Island’s representative animal.
The animal is used as a symbol by many organizations on the island including Jeju National University and Jeju United.
The Roe Deer Observation Center, however, gives you a chance to get up close with this animal. Feeding them is also a possibility.
The center is located between the April 3rd Peace Park and Jeolmul Recreational Forest with lots of parking spaces.
Exhibit halls give lots of information about the deer and ecology which are especially good for children.
Though adults might like climbing the oreum more, if you have kids in tow, then the roe deer model making experience might have to be completed first.
The kids make the model themselves which are created with processed snowbell tree wood.
It all costs 3,000 won and is quite popular.
Roe deer have both Siberian and European variations. Jeju’s are officially classed as Siberian, but genetically and appearance-wise they have unique characteristics leading to their own scientific name.
First the Jeju deer is smaller than its European counterpart. The snout color is also clearly different.
At the Roe Deer Observation Center you’ll find 100 or so deer spread out across the area. 70 live on Gochin Oreum which, being out of human contact, are wild. They will run away at the slightest sense of danger and usually come out at night.
On the other hand some 30 deer are in close contact with humans making it easy to feed them.
They may look small like babies, but they are all grown up.
Actually at one point the roe deer population had decreased quite dramatically on the island. They were becoming an endangered species.
Therefore the Jeju government stepped in to bring the numbers up with protection laws.
As the deer have no natural predators like wild dogs or foxes the population soared well beyond the guide number of 3,000.
There are now 20,000 roe deer some which damage crops down in the farmers fields.
Thus the deer’s designation has been changed from that of protection to that of a hazardous animal.
Until June, 2016, those with a permit and hunting in an approved area, will be able to kill the deer.
Anyway after taking in the The Roe Deer Observation Center you should add Gochin Oreum to your list of things to see.
However, it could be more difficult to see the deer due to the dense vegetation. The winter snow might afford some glimpses.
As the summit path circles during its 2.3 km loop it doesn’t matter which way you go, but be sure to prepare for a slightly steep ascent.
Good decking under foot makes it good for walking though.
In fact the whole area is good for walking as the oreum is connected with various other places in the area through the trails.
You can go to Jeolmul, Soomoreu, Pyeonbaegsupgil, Jangsaengui, Saryeonisupgil, and even Halla Eco-Forest.
What a place to explore.
Address: Jeju-si, 520, Myeongnim-ro,
Ticket Price: Adults 1,000 won | Juvenile 600 won | * Model making experience 3,000 won | * Deer feeding 1,000 won
Opening Hours: 7 a.m. – 6 p.m. (March to October) | 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. (November to February) | *Model making is available from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. all year round.
Web Site: http://roedeer.jejusi.go.kr/site/english/ (English)
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