The Indian Sambar Deer ( English), Rusa Unicolor unicolor or Cervus Unicolor ( Scientific Name) is among the largest of the deer family found on the Indian subcontinent.
A species that is widespread from China in the north and up to Taiwan in the Far East it is unfortunately declining in number and now restricted to protected sanctuaries and national parks.
Divided into six subspecies the Sambar Deer in the picture below is native to India and can weigh from 250- 300 kgs.
The majestic Male stag is identified by its antlers which have three points ( tines) and form a perfect bow.
Glowing in the rays of the Morning Sun, the Stag appears magically from the dense Sal forest of this lesser known Forest of Central India.
The Sambar deer is mostly active during dawn and dusk . This handsome specimen with a thick mane around the neck and beautiful dark brown fur was spotted alone at dawn In the Satpura Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh, India.
The Sambar Deer is the favoured food of the Tiger ( Panthera tigris) and thus can be spotted at all Tiger Sanctuaries in the country.
Do see the lovely patterns the morning light conjures up on the rump of this Stag.
The Indian Sambar Deer sheds these majestic antlers annually and then regrows them again.
Like most ungulates they too are herbivores and survive on a wide spectrum of flora.
After a brief sun bath and a majestic show, the Stag turns around and saunters off into the depths of the forest.
Once upon a time these Majestic Stags walked freely across this vast land. Now they are restricted to reserves, parks and sanctuaries.