Panorama of a Safari Park field exhibit with giraffes, water buffalo, and rhinos

Muntjac Deer

Muntjac Deer

The muntjac represents the oldest and most primitive of antlered deer. This short, stocky deer has tiny antlers that can regrow if damaged and dagger-shaped, small tusks. It lives in thick, wooded hills. Unlike other deer, the muntjac is omnivorous. It eats bamboo shoots, leaves, bark, fruits, and carrion. It is even a skilled hunter! A muntjac may plunder the nests of ground-nesting birds and kill small mammals with powerful blows from its forelegs and bites from its tusks.

Muntjacs utter a warning call of short, hard notes like the barking of a dog, so some people call them barking deer. These barks are quite loud for such a small animal! Solitary muntjacs mark their territory in the bamboo forest from a gland below each eye.

Look for our Indian muntjacs along the Safari Walk, just inside the Park’s entrance.

Free! Living Legends - San Diego Zoo 100. Help save wildlife in our newest puzzle game.