Species Survival Plan
Semi-open, dry scrub forest
Tiger, wild hog and leopard
Grasses, forbs, leaves, twigs and acorns
Originally Native To
India, Nepal and Sri Lanka
39.5 inches at shoulder
Male 200 lb.
Female 165 lb.
White spots on reddish coat, white bibs and black dorsal stripe; males have 3 tined antlers
Wild 9 - 13 years
Captivity 18 - 22 years
Families of female and offspring; herds of 2 or more families
ABOUT THE AXIS DEER
Axis deer are also called chital deer or spotted Indian deer. In India, the axis deer population has declined mainly due to habitat loss.
It is considered by many to be the most beautiful of deer with a bright reddish coat marked with white spots that remain throughout its life. They have two large antlers that can reach 30 inches in length and usually only have three points.
Axis deer can often be found near a stream with a ravine for shelter. They prefer territory with woody vegetation for cover and open areas for feeding. Size of their home range varies with habitat but averages two-and-a-half square miles.
Axis deer are less nocturnal than most deer, usually feeding for four hours after sunrise. Then, they seek water and rest in the shade during the midday heat, returning to feed for a few hours before sunset.
Where there are no predators, their numbers can grow to the point where axis deer will destroy their own habitat. They do not seem to be territorial but may fight, often with serious consequences, for possession of the females. Rutting males emit bugle-like bellows and both sexes have alarm calls or barks.
Axis deer are good swimmers with no fear of the water. Fawns are protected by both parents, but stay close to mother.
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As a private nonprofit corporation, Fossil Rim does not receive national or state government support. Every cent spent or donated here goes in some way, directly or indirectly, toward the care of our animals.