Sunda Sambar or Rusa Deer Cervus timorensis

Head & Body Length- 130 to 210 cm
Shoulder height- 80 to 110 cm
Tail length- 10 to 30 cm
Weight- 50 to 115 kg

Physical Appearance

The Sunda Sambar resembles the other species of Sambar such as the Indian Sambar, but is smaller in size. The coat is a grey-brown colour and is fairly uniform without any spots. The underparts and the insides of the legs are paler in colouration. The Sunda Sambar appears a rather short and stocky deer, this is because of its short legs and strong body. Only the males have antlers. These are three tined, and grow in a slight lyre shape. The backwards tine of the antlers is larger than the two frontal tines. They grow up to 75 cm in length. Females are smaller in size than the males.



The Sunda Sambar is found on a number of Indonesian Islands. It was probably introduced to many of these islands by man, it may have originated on Java and Bali, but we can not be sure as to its exact original distribution. The Sunda Sambar is not at any conservation risk and is a relatively common deer in Indonesia.



The Sunda Sambar is an adaptable species of deer, and is able to live in a wide variety of habitats, including forest clearings, grasslands and marshy river areas. This adaptability has enabled it to remain common.



The main breeding period takes place between July and September. At this time the male herds join with the female herds, and males compete with each other for dominance and the right to breed. After an 8-month gestation period mostly a single young is born. The young are mostly born in March or April. The young accompany their mother shortly after being born. The young are unspotted at birth. At 6 to 8 months of age the young are weaned. Sexual maturity is reached from 18 months of age.



The Sunda Sambar feeds mainly on various types of grass. It is mostly nocturnal, using the hours of darkness to feed and avoid humans. Although other types of Sambar are solitary, the Sunda Sambar is sociable and is mostly found in small groups of up to 25 animals. The sexes are usually apart in separate herds. The sexes only meet during the rutting period in the autumn. They have a number of predators including the tiger, the python and the crocodile.