Axis or Chital Axis axis

Measurements:
Head-Body Length-110 to 140 cm
Shoulder height- 95 cm
Tail length- 20 to 30 cm
Weight- 75 to 100 kg

Physical Appearance

Axis Deer are also commonly known as Chital or as the Spotted Deer. It is a large species of deer, which has a particularly elegant and charming appearance. Axis deer are relatively high legged, with thick necks and long heads. Males are larger in size than the females and have thicker necks and chests. Males are darker in colour, especially around the head and face, and this darkening becomes more pronounced with increasing age.

The coat is distinctive being a rich dark brown coloured with numerous white spots running in rows along the flanks. There is a dark black stripe of fur that runs down the spine. The under parts, insides of the legs, and the lower throat are white. The nose and eyes are dark in colour; the eyelashes are long and especially noticeable. The muzzle and face is often darker in colour than the body, and sometimes has black markings. The tail is long and has a white underside.

Only the males carry antlers. These grow in a lyre like shape and can be up to 76 cm long. Typically these have only three tines each, meaning that is total the antlers have 6 tines. The antlers are carried low, and have a strong front prong; the backwards-pointing prong is long and ends in a fork. The antlers are usually shed annually, but because this is a tropical living species there is no specific season in which they are lost.

 

Distribution

Axis deer occur throughout the Indian subcontinent and the island of Sri Lanka. They are abundant in India and one of the most common species of deer found there.

They have also been introduced into a number of European countries, New Zealand, Australia, and the United States. In Europe numbers are small, mainly because they are not particularly hardy and suffer in the cold winters that occur here. Large numbers are kept in the United States, especially in Texas, where they are used for ranching purposes.