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Photographs supplied by Greg Gordon

A monument commemorates the release of Sambar deer in 1868 on William Lyall`s property by the Victorian Acclimatisation Society.

The Acclimatisation Society of Victoria, lead by such eminent scientists as Frederick McCoy (Director of the Melbourne Museum) and Ferdinand von Mueller (Victorian Government Botanist), was the principal body responsible for the introduction of useful species to Australia.  This august group of men, all Europeans, reasoned that life in the new colony would be improved by the addition of true game species such as deer.  Their first preference was for Red Deer (Cervus elephas), a native to England and Europe, which was considered to be the noblest of animals for gentlemen to hunt.  Next in the rankings was the Fallow Deer (Cervus dama) which was native to eastern Europe and probably introduced to the rest of Europe, including England, by the Romans, where it became another of the royal game animals.  Both were introduced to many parts of Victoria from the mid 1800s but with little success, neither have become widespread and nearly all of the original populations died out.

The Sambar was introduced into Australia at about the same time, from populations in Sri Lanka, India and the Philippines, and it faired much better.  The initial colony was at the northern edge of Westernport where the animals spread into the great swamplands around Koo-wee-rup - all of which have since been cleared and drained.  From there they moved north-east into the Victorian highlands which is now their stronghold.  With the Sambar, the Acclimatisation Society of Victoria (ASV) achieved its goal of introducing a new species to Victoria which would survive in the wild and provide benefits to the people of this state.  This viewpoint is one that is endorsed by groups such as the Sporting Shooters Association of Australia (SSAA) and the Australian Deer Association (ADA) who praise the ASV for their foresight and rate the Sambar as one of premier game deer in the world.


Address:South Gippsland Highway, Col Utber Swamp Tower Reserve, Koo Wee Rup, 3981
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -38.212992
Long: 145.459262
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Culture
Approx. Event Start Date:1868


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Sunday 28th November, 1993
Front Inscription

This Plaque Commemorates The Release In 1868
Of Sambar Deer (Cervus Unicolor) On William Lyall`s
Property By The Victorian Acclimatisation Society.

The Sambar Is Now Benignly
Established Throughout
The Forested Mountain Country Of
South East Australia.  
The Property "Harewood" Is Situated 1km.
West Of This Position.

Erected By The Australia Deer Association.
Unveiled On The 28th November 1993 By
Life Member  Mr. Arthur Bentley  B.E.M.


Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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