Category: Ungulates

Location: Safari Drive

These beautiful spotted deer which are also known as ‘chital’ frequent the open forests of India, Nepal and Sri Lanka, where they live mainly on grass. They have the unenviable distinction of being at the top of the tiger’s list of favourite foods. Unlike all other northern hemisphere deer species, the axis deer have no set or organised rutting season and consequently their young can be born at any time of year.

Axis deer are also called ‘chital’ or spotted deer.

The most common deer species of Indian forests

Axis deer have antlers with 3 points (tines) which are shed every year.

Axis deer feed on grasses and also browse. They have also been known to eat foliage and fruit from trees.

Wooded regions of India, there are populations in Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Bhutan.

Axis deer are classed as least concern, they are an important part of the ecology that supports Indian tigers. Any habitat disruption can impact on Tigers and other species that rely on healthy axis deer populations.

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