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.

Sambar glows in the morning light
                                         Sambar glows in the morning light

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.

saunters off
                                                                     Saunters across the forest path

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.

disappears never to meet again
                                                     disappears into the bosom of the enchanting forest

Once upon a time these Majestic Stags walked freely across this vast land. Now they are restricted to reserves, parks and sanctuaries.


Published by

mukul chand

51 year old entrepreneur who has traveled extensively around the world for work and pleasure , is based in New Delhi, India. A passionate traveler born with a love for flora and fauna, is an active naturalist and amateur photographer. Here he shares his unique insight into Incredible India revealing its mysterious and exotic treasures. Writing from his heart he shares his experiences as he crisscrosses this vast and amazing land.

44 thoughts on “THE MAGICAL STAG”

      1. There are a lot of similarities in the flora from higher elevations. The rhododendron family is one. It is interesting that the deer family is so widespread in particular the genus Cervus. It must have a long history.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Moose are amazing. I’ve seen a few in the wild. They are becoming very scarce here now.

        As I looked your photos of the sambar I began to think they looked a lot like wapiti.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Here wolves are one of the main natural predators. Also, grizzly bears and mountain lions (puma). But these animals are absent from most of their original range now. Some subspecies of wapiti (elk) were hunted to extinction and even the eastern subspecies was wiped out from most of the places it used to live.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I was thinking that too. But there is this mindset of hunting and taming the wild that goes deep into our history. Some animals are promoted like whitetail deer just so they can be hunted. Predatory animals are hunted because they are eating all of “our” deer. Actually cars kill more deer than wolves do.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. That’s true. They had to be careful with how they used the natural world. It was the source of everything. Market economies starting with the fur trade changed that.

        Liked by 1 person

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