You think that baby deer above is so cute, don't you?
Look, how small! And soooo sweet.
But someday, that little baby is going to grow up.
And become a special sort of deer.
A tiny deer with tiny antlers, yes ... but
one that eats grass and small mammals!
A deer that defends its territory with its tusks!
Are you picturing Bambi-zilla? :)
We are talking about muntjacs here; deer which are about as bizarre as deer get...
Because in addition to growing tusks, muntjacs also bark.
And climb trees.
So now what are you picturing? Vampire Bambi swinging from a limb and howling at the moon? Ha ha
Did you know the smallest deer in the world is a muntjac? It's called the Pudu.
The Pudu only stands 13 inches high, about the size of my little sheltie Bella... who has no tusks, but is really really cute anyway. :)
But I digress.
So let's take a peek at a Pudu:
Okay, that's a baby Pudu - it's almost impossible to picture it eating animals and fighting with its tusks.
So let's try again...let's check out an adult male muntjac with tusks!
But though they are fierce fighters, muntjacs are so secretive that certain types are occasionally feared extinct. Decades might go by before a reappearance causes scientists to punch one another on the shoulder in glee. Like people seeing Elvis at the beach or something.
Muntjacs also have the opposite problem. Though they are all native to tropical Asia, muntjacs are officially declared pests in Britain. Huh?
Seems that in 1900, the Duke of Bedford imported a bunch of Reeves muntjacs from China into Bedfordshire. They are now found all over Britain and are considered a common feature of the English garden because they'll eat... anything.
So now, when your friends talk about how cute deer are, you can say in a low voice, "I know about the dark side of deer."
Muntjacs do have a lighter side, though. What about the muntjac as exotic pet? Yep, you can get 'em for your home or yard. But why would you want to when, on Britains's Most-Wanted list, they are described as "dangerous and destructive"?
by Mara Hincher
Love that joke magazine cover!
After watching this video, I'd guess "dangerous and destructive" only applies to wild muntjacs. Check out Bambi, a pet Reeves muntjac:
But he doesn't say anything about what a good mouser Bambi is! :)