Sambar deer (Cervus unicolor)
The sambar deer is the most widely spread deer species in the world, covering many countries in the Asian continent. It is also one of the larger members of the deer family. Some males are known to weigh up to 300kg and can grow to a height ranging from 135-150cm at the shoulders. Their population is large and spread to almost every corner of India. They do not appear on the endangered list. The specimens found in central India appear to be larger than those found in other regions. The male members of this species have antlers that can grow to a length of 90-95cm, with a record finding of one that measured 127cm! These animals have a life expectancy ranging between 16-20 years. They are the favourite prey species of the tiger. A large sambar can feed a tiger for up to 4 days. Unlike the spotted deer, which shouts an alarm and darts away at the sight of a predator, the sambar tends to alertly watch and keep giving alarm calls until the danger has passed. A reason due to which many of them fall prey for predators.