Understand The Animals


Contributed by Jyotsna Ramani (India). Badfan_1@rediffmail.com

 The hog deer is a relatively uncommon species of deer mainly found in grasslands & riverine forests. It derives its name from it's 'hog-like' habit of crashing through the vegetation- ducking under obstacles in the manner of a wild pig rather than leaping over them like most deer. It's scientific name is 'Cervus porcinus'. The hog deer has shoulder height ranging from 66-74 cm. It is light to dark brown in colour & develops white spots during the summer. It is thick-set with relatively short limbs & has about 30 cm long antlers with 3 tines.

During flight it holds its tail erect, showing the white underside. They are shy animals, also known to be nocturnal & diurnal. They can be spotted singly or in small groups but in open grasslands they may gather as a loose group. Whenever they are alarmed they give a whistle as an alarm call to others. The hog deer mainly feeds on grasses & leaves.

Males are territorial but do not create harems. A male courts and defends a single female at a given time. Their gestation period is 8 months. one or two young are born at a time. They are found in - North India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh & Pakistan. Due to their specialised habitat they are found in these areas and parts of South East Asia only. Recently when I was going through the web searching for info on 'hog deer' I came across tons of hunting sites for hog deer. Can you believe that? Humans are so cruel. No wonder this species is so rare & dwindling fast.

While as a species the hog deer is not on the IUCN's 1996 red list, axis porcinus is considered a low risk conservation dependent subspecies. In India, they can be easily found in Corbett National Park. If you want, you can take our specialized tour to see the hog deer & many other animals like - Tiger, Indian Elephant, Red fox,Jungle cat, Wild boar, Civet, Sloth bear, Porcupine, Crocodile, Golden jackal, Leopard, Otter & several species of deer. For further details, click on the following link :-http://www.indianwildlifeclub.com/EcoTourism/Corbett-Motel.aspx

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