The DMZ, (Demilitarized Zone) is the area between North and South Korea that is used as a buffer zone between the two countries. The Korean war, although not actually actively at war, has never fully ended. They are in a limbo between war and peace. Fifty-five years ago, for better or worse, the countries came to an agreement, "we agree not to agree, but also not to war." What is left is a highly unstable North Korea, and the most highly protected border in the entire world, the DMZ. The DMZ for all intensive purposes cuts the two contesting countries in half on the 38th parallel. It is about 2.5 miles wide and 160 miles long.
One unexpected benefit arising from this fifty-five year hiatus of human-less land has created a Godsend for many of the nearly extinct animals of the Korean peninsula. Because this area of land has been untouched by humans, flora, fauna and wildlife have flourished into a conservationists dream. Fifty animal species, and nearly 200 types of flora and fauna, have found a home in this highly contest strip of land.
One of these animals, the musk deer, is one of the rarities to emerge from the DMZ. Known for it's vampire like fangs, this animals is often called "a vampire deer." The canine teeth have extended to form a kind of tusk. It's almost fantastical and many do not believe it until they see it. On a field trip not too long ago, I had the privilege of seeing one of these rare vampire deer up close, behind a fence enclosure. Here are the pictures from that experience.