Explore Our Highland Wildlife

White Stag sighted in Cairngorms – and other unusual animals in Inverness and Loch Ness

A group of friends visiting the Cairngorms National Park this winter were amazed to spot a white stag among a herd of red deer! This made us think about the wildlife of Inverness and Loch Ness and the many unusual creatures that live in our area – not counting Nessie, of course!

Here are the more unusual Scottish Highland Wildlife and animals you may spot on your visit to Inverness, Loch Ness and the Highlands..


Deer may not be that unusual to many visitors, but here in Inverness and Loch Ness you often get the chance to see them up close. Especially in the winter, deer come very close to the roads and houses in search of food and it’s not unusual in the more remote parts of the area, such as South Loch Ness, to find them in your garden munching on shrubs and bushes! You may also encounter deer when out for a walk or cycle – stay still and enjoy this amazing wildlife encounter…


In the Highlands of Scotland reindeer don’t just appear at Christmas-time! The Cairngorms National Park, just south of Inverness, is home to a herd of reindeer.

There are around 150 animals in this free-ranging herd and you can join a guided trip to see them all year round (apart from January/February).

Highland Wildlife Park

Also in the Cairngorms National Park, the Highland Wildlife Park in Kincraig is home to many amazing animals you wouldn’t usually see in the Highlands – you can see wolves, tigers and polar bears as well as native animals like capercaillie and Scottish wildcats. A great day out for the family and less than an hour’s drive from Inverness!

Scottish Exotic Animal Rescue

And if you are looking to meet some really unusual animals, why not visit the Scottish Exotic Animal Rescue Centre in Cantraybridge near Inverness? This small charity cares for exotic animals that have been rescued and is open to the public every Sunday. Young visitors can get up close and personal with snakes, geckos and insects – join them if you dare!

Highland Cow

And let’s not forget the Highlands’ favourite four-legged inhabitant – the Highland Cow! These Highland locals with their long horns and long, wavy coat are a favourite with visitors and you can say “Hello” to a “Heilan’ Coo” at many visitor hotspots such as Jacobite Cruises at Dochgarroch or Cameron’s Tearoom near Foyers. And if you’re not quite brave enough yet to take a selfie with a real Coo, look out for the new Highland Cow sculpture at Jacobite’s Dochgarroch departure point! We’d love to see your photos!