Morni Wildlife: Sambar deer

Sambar deer– a large deer that can exceed 5 feet height at the shoulder and can weigh over 500 kg! Females are generally smaller. Males have large, rugged antlers nearly 4 feet long that are shed annually in summer months. The antlers are valued for ornamental purposes. The locals in gujjar-villages of Morni foothills use it for preparing medicines. The coat is a shaggy grey-brown. The males display a short, dense mane that is raised when threatened. They prefer the cover of deciduous shrubs and grasses and are found upto a height of 3500 metres in the Himalayas . The young are preyed upon by the leopards in the Shivaliks. The adult males live alone for most part of the year and the females live in herds. The alarm call is a loud scream or sharp, high-pitched sounds. Packs of wild dogs are known to attack sambars in the Bir Shikargarh forest. The male lashes at the enemy with his antlers. The Sambar is found near water sources and is a good swimmer. Sambar feeds on grasses and fruits.

Sambar stag, Bir Shikargarh, Morni hills (Photo Courtesy Rajesh Pandey)
Mane of a sambar stag, Bir Shikargarh forest, Morni-Pinjore
Sambar stag in Bir Shikargarh, the camouflage