The park surrounding the Woburn Abbey played a vital role in the survival of the Père David Deer. The deer comes orginally from China. It could only surviven there under the protection of the emperor. But that protection fell away during the Boxer Revolution of 1900. All the Père David deer disappeared in China. Fortunately, the Chinese had made a donation of some deer to England. The Duke of Bedford collected the 16 European animals and created a flock to preserve this deer for posterity. In 1985 the deer was put into the wild again.