John T. Willis

Monday, April 05, 2010

Sambar Deer

The Sambar (Rusa unicolor) is an Asian deer ranging from 40 to 63 inches high and ranging from 360 to 1200 pounds. Its coat is dark brown with chestnut marks on the rump and underparts. Its antlers are rusine, the brow tines simple, and the beams forked at the tip. These antlers soetimes exceed 40 inches.

The Sambar deer lives in much of south Asia, mainland southeast Asia, southern China, Taiwan, and Sumatra and Borneo in Indonesia. Sometimes, sambars congregated in large herds in protected areas like national parks and reserves in India, Sri Lanka, and Thailand.

Sambars usually are browsers living in woodlands and feeding primarily on coarse vegetation, grass, and herbs. Sambars are diurnal and live in herds of 5 to 6 members, grazing on grass, sprigs, fruit and bamboo buds. They are usually near water. They are hardy and range from sea level to high elevations like the mixed coniferous/deciduous forest zone in the Himalayan Mountaisn sharing its range with the Himalayan musk deer. Sambars live ranging from tropical seasonal forests, subtropical mixed forests to tropical rainforests.

In Taiwan, sambar along with sika deer have been raised on farms for their antlers, which they drop annually in April to May and are highly prized for use as knife handles and as grips for handguns. Sambars are a favorite prey item for tigers and Asiatic Lions. They can be taken by crocodiles.

Although sambars have no specific mating season, they commonly mate from September to January. Males defend rutting territories and attempt to attrach females by vocal and olfactory displays. The males are solitary and highly aggressive toward other males during this time. Females mal live in groups of eight. A male may have one whole group of females in his territory. The gestation period for the females in approximately 9 months with one calf born at a time. Sambar cales have brown hair with light spots which they lose very shortly. Calves stay with their mothers for up to two years.

Sambar deer is just another example of God's innumerable creatures. I hope YOU appreciate and support sambars. Above this, I hope YOU are amazed at God's wonders right here one earth.

Share YOUR experiences and thoughts and insights with others. Let me hear from YOU.

John Willis