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Indian Sambar

The Indian Sambar (Cervus unicolor), also known as the Sambur or Sambhur, is a species of maned deer found throughout much of southern Asia. It is found as far north as the south-facing slopes of the Himalayan Mountains. It is also found throughout Southeast Asia (Burma, Thailand, Indochina, the Malay Peninsula), China, Taiwan, and the islands of Sumatra and Borneo in Indonesia.

The Indian Sambar attains a height of 40 to 63 inches at the shoulder and may weigh as much as 1200 pounds. The coat is dark brown with chestnut marks on the rump and under parts. The large, rugged antlers are typically rusine, the brow tines being simple and the beams forked at the tip. In some specimens the antlers exceed 40 inches.

Sambars are primarily browsers that live in woodlands and feed mainly on coarse vegetation, grass, and herbs. They are diurnal animals who live in herds of 5-6 members, grazing on grass, sprigs, fruit and bamboo buds. These deer are seldom far from water and, although primarily of the tropics, are hardy and may range up to high elevations such as the mixed forests in the Himalayan Mountains.

Though they have no specific mating season, Sambars commonly mate from September and on to January. Males defend rutting territories and attempt to attract females by vocal and olfactory displays. The males are solitary and highly aggressive toward other males during this time. Females may live in groups of eight. A male may have one whole group of females in his territory. The gestation period for the females is around 9 months with one fawn born at a time. Fawns stay with their mothers for up to two years.

Indian Sambar


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