In a peaceful mountainside park, two deer duke it out. Susanta Nanda, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests for the Indian Forest Service, posted the video on Twitter. It features what looks to be two chital deer in a boxing match. Chital deer are known for their prominent spots and are native to India. Check out the video below.
Deer boxing pic.twitter.com/15pzsmGPGd— Susanta Nanda IFS (@susantananda3) September 19, 2022
The chital is also called Axis deer, or Indian spotted deer. Their name comes from the Sanskrit word for “spotted,” which is where cheetahs get their name also. While only fawns have spots in species like the whitetail, the chital keeps its spots into adulthood. They can grow to about 5 feet and 7 inches at head-and-body height. Additionally, while the males weigh up to 165 pounds, the females are much lighter, weighing 55 to 99 pounds.
More About the Chital: Where They Live, and Hawaii’s Interesting History With Them
These remarkable deer are found all over the Indian continent, but they’re also found in Australia and the United States, as well as Croatia. In Australia, it was the first deer species introduced on the continent in the early 1800s. Dr. John Harris introduced the first herd and had 400 individuals by 1813. Apparently, the chital now can only be found on the New South Wales north and south coasts and in North Queensland.
Axis deer were first introduced on the island of Mokolai, Hawaii, as well as on the island of Lanai, in the 1860s. They are still plentiful on those islands. Unfortunately, there are no natural predators on the islands. The population grows about 30% every year, according to a report from the Associated Press.
There were plans to release axis deer on the main island of Hawaii, but the plan was abandoned. Wildlife experts on Mokolai and Lanai revealed the damage that the deer had done to the ecosystem. Still, in 2012, there were sightings on the island. A helicopter pilot pleaded guilty that year to transporting four of the animals from Maui, according to a report from the Honolulu-Star Advertiser. Since then, Hawaii implemented a law that prohibits “the intentional possession or interisland transportation or release of wild or feral deer.”
Is the Axis Deer Endangered, Though?
In the 1930s, Texas introduced them. In the late 80s, axis deer lived in 27 counties. Now, they’re most plentiful on the Edwards Plateau. It’s an area at the crossroads of central, south, and west Texas. There, the terrain and environment are actually similar to India, which makes it the perfect place for this native-Indian species.
As far as conservation goes, the chital, or axis deer, is considered of Least Concern on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List. They are prominent and widespread and often live on protected lands. If you didn’t know about the world’s interesting relationship with the axis deer, now you know.