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Rhodes’ Hidden Gems: A Reference to the Mythical Legacy of the Dama-Dama Deer

The Dama-Dama Deer, an under protection species, exclusively inhabits the island of Rhodes. It thrives within pine and cypress forests, ensuring a year-round water source for its sustenance.

Numerous tales surround the origins of these deer on the island. One prevailing narrative traces their presence back to antiquity, around the 6th century BC, when Rhodes was known as “Elafousa,” owing to its abundant deer population.

Another intriguing legend proposes that Crusaders introduced these deer to Rhodes during the Medieval era, utilizing them to safeguard their camps against snakes. While the deer themselves do not prey on snakes, a substance emitted from their horns exudes an aroma that repels these reptiles effectively.

At Mandraki Harbor in the town of Rhodes, two deer sculptures grace the scene: a female and a male, embodying the island’s grace in a dual representation.

According to Mythology, these two deer at Mandraki Harbor are the points where the famous Colossus of Rhodes- one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World- stood, implying the enormous size of his.

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