Bandhavgarh National Park is happy to have Sambar Deer as an official park inhabitant! Sambar Deer are a unique species of deer with characteristics you won’t find in the average deer. Read on to learn more about this amazing species!
Sambar Deer Habitat
Native to Southern China, Southeast Asia, and the Indian subcontinent. Recently, they’ve been introduced to the United States, Australia, and New Zealand as well. They favor evergreen, mixed, and tropical rain forests.
Sambar Deer Size And Weight
The average Sambar deer reaches 63 inches tall at the shoulder. They can grow to an immense size, but usually between 220 to 750 pounds! Females are much smaller than males.
Sambar Deer Lifespan
Sambars can survive 20 years in the wild, but in captivity, they do much better. A Sambar Deer can survive 26 years in a captive habitat.
Types Of Sambar Deer
There are currently 7 subspecies of Sambars on record.
Some Fun And Interesting Facts!
Sambars are one of the all-time largest deer in existence! It takes 5 full size white tail deer to equal the size of just a single, full grown, 750 lb. A shy species, it remains active primarily under the cover of night.
The Sambars can easily swim submerged in water, with just it’s head above water level. And during mating season, stags will lock antlers with each other as they fight for breeding rights! Did you know? A Sambars will approach and attack possible predators for the best chance at survival, and they’re most often eaten by leopards, tigers, and wolves!
Females reach full maturity between 18 and 26 months, and give birth to calves after a gestation period of approximately 8 months. Sambar deer love to eat plants, and have been documented to ingest between 130 and 180 plant species! They also LOVE mineral licks, and are never found very far away from fresh water.
Upon reaching 6 years of age, a Sambar Deer starts its solitary existence.
Sambars Conservation Status
The IUCN lists the Sambar Deer as part of the Vulnerable – Population Decreasing (VU) category. Hunting, insurgency, and the exploitation of it’s natural habitat has led the Sambars to decrease in numbers over the years, substantially. The antlers are often used as trophies, or used in traditional medicine. Sambar meat is one of the most sought-after wild game meats in all of Southeast Asia.
Changes are underway to increase the population of Sambars, but conservation efforts remain challenged. Allowing Sambars to breed in well-secured, protected, managed areas. Sambars in protected areas are still highly vulnerable to poaching, indicating that their protection status isn’t offering them anywhere near as much safety as it should.
Efforts to lessen the likelihood of Sambars becoming victims to illegal poaching should be more heavily instituted, with additional resources put towards enforcing Zero-Tolerance Poaching Policies.