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The Chital Deer – A Common Resident in Bangladesh

Also called the ‘spotted deer’ and ‘axis deer’, the Chital Deer is a beautiful and commonly seen deer in woodlands across India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. In fact this beautiful little deer is one of the most common species of deer in the forests of India.

Even those who are not from India and Bangladesh will recognize the Chital deer as it is one of the most commonly spotted deer, which means that many have seen it in nature documentaries and other television programs, books and travel brochures. Its most distinctive feature is the small white spots which cover its body and back, providing extra camouflage in the dappled lighting of the forests. The coat of the Chital deer is a fawn color with a reddish tint along the sides of the animal and a darker stripe running down its back. The white stippling may be focused mainly on the torso or it may continue up the back of the animal’s neck with each animal having a different and unique pattern. The Chital deer’s under parts are white and the coloring on the lower part of its legs may merge into a cream before terminating in the hoof. Chital deer from different geographic regions may vary in patterning, color range and size.

The average stag of the Chital deer species reaches about 86 cm at the shoulder while the hinds are smaller and more slender. Every year the stags grow an impressive set of antlers which may reach a length of 75 cm. These curve outwards and upwards and feature three distinct prongs. A male with hard antlers will be dominant over one with velvet antlers.

It is interesting to note that antler growth does not correspond to the mating season since in their natural environment the climate makes breeding somewhat difficult. Once mated, the female will take 234 days to carry her young to term. Usually Chitals can be found in herds with as many as fifty individuals. These usually have only two males as well many females and their offspring. They have also been introduced to other countries for hunting purposes but are not quite as beautiful as when in their natural habitat. So why not come and observe these delightful creatures in their natural environment in Bangladesh? You will no doubt find them to be very interesting and attractive.



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