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Chinese Water Deer



Latin name: Hydropotes inermis

Other names: Asian water deer, Korean water deer

Size: Approximately 75 to 100cm long, 40 to 55cm high at shoulder

Distribution:
Mainly found in Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk with smaller colonies in other parts of southern England

Months seen: All year round

Habitat: Around rivers, streams and marshy areas with plenty of shrubs and small trees.  Sometimes on farmland.

Food: Grass and low growing vegetation.  Sometimes browse the tops from root crops but do not damage trees.

Special features:  Chinese water deer have a reddish-brown coat in summer and is more greyish in winter. The underparts are an off white colour all year. The legs are very slender, and the tail is short and stumpy. The ears are often described as being teddy bear like, being short and rounded.


The fawns of Chinese water deer are dark brown with white spots and some striping on the back.

Although Chinese water deer do not have antlers, they do have enlarged upper canine teeth, which form backward curving tusks. The male tusks can be up to 8cm long, the females tusks are usually less than 1cm long. 

Rutting usually takes place in November and December when the tusks are used as weapons in fights between rival males.

Chinese water deer are most active at dusk, but they can be active both day and night.



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