Grazing Sambar deer in S’pore caught on camera with its mouth wide-open

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As one of the largest deers in the world, just after the moose and the elk, Sambar deer are hard to miss.

However, with fewer than 20 wild Sambar deer in Singapore, local sightings have been few and far between, and only by a handful of lucky individuals.

One of them is a frequent hiker Katherine Lu, who was hiking when she came across two female Sambar deer on July 1, she told Mothership.

Image courtesy of Katherine Lu.

Hearty meal

From a distance of around 20m away, Lu told Mothership she watched the pair of female Sambar deer, also known as does, for about 15 minutes as they were grazing.

These hoofed creatures’ diet consists largely of vegetation like grass shoots, leafy foliage, shrubs and trees.

In what seemed like a perfectly-timed shot, one of the female Sambar deer was caught with its mouth wide-open in Lu’s photograph.

Probably a good jaw stretch after some constant chewing on the greens:

Image courtesy of Katherine Lu.

The other female Sambar deer that Lu said was smaller. Image courtesy of Katherine Lu.

The pair of does subsequently retreated into the forest.

Lu also added that this is not her first time spotting Sambar deer.

She once saw a young buck in the forest too.

Male Sambar deer, also known as bucks, have recognisable antlers with three tines, meaning that the antlers tend to have three branches.

A young buck that Lu spotted earlier this year. Image courtesy of Katherine Lu.

More about Sambar deer in Singapore

During the 1940s, Sambar deer (Rusa unicolor) were thought to be locally extinct due to poaching and habitat loss.

But, the deer started reappearing, possibly after some deer escaped from Singapore Zoo.

Sambar deer are native to the region and can be found in countries like India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines.

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Top image courtesy of Katherine Lu