Deer: Chinese muntjac deer
Populations seem secure in its very large range however it does occur in high human population densities where there may be pressures how habitat destruction and hunting. They are classed as least concern as there is no information about an overall declin
This deer species is actually an omnivore! Whilst the majority of its diet is made up for bamboo, seeds, bark, fruit and foliage it has also been documented to eat eggs, carrion, small mammals and ground nesting birds!
Found natively throughout the subtropical forests of south eastern China and Taiwan
Primarily a solitary and territorial deer with male territories overlapping several female territories. Males will only tolerate other males in their territory if they are young with no antlers. Both males benefit from this sharing of territory as the dominant male has a co-defender of his territory and the young male is able to practise sparring with the dominant without being forced from the area.
Males will fight for the right to mate with the females within a given area. Their small antlers are used to block and parry whilst their tusk-like canines do damage to the face, neck and ears. It breeds year round and reaches its reproductive age very quickly (around 36 weeks for bucks and 24 weeks for does) from birth.
Chinese muntjac have established themselves in the English countryside after being introduced at Woburn, Bedfordshire, around 1900.
At The Zoo
The EEC has ruled that this is now an “invasive species” and due to these regulations we can no longer breed these in captivity here at the zoo. We are required to ensure they live out their remaining lives with us. You can often hear them barking at enclosure 38 on the trail.