Barking deer (Muntiacus vaginalis)

This is the second image from the amazing encounter with the orphaned barking deer in the care of Dema the farmer. Dema owns a farm across the road from the Trogon Villa I stayed at for several nights, and this was the first of two encounters with this lovely deer, as I was fortunate to come back the next day.

From hearing about a farm with a barking deer nearby, to seeing this very young calf up and so close, was such a wonderful experience. Not just because the deer was in such a great health, spirit and confidence, but also because the farmers help each other out in so many ways, also in regards to the wild life. The farmer that came across the calf did not have any cows, thus was unable to provide the necessary milk and care for the calf and asked Dema if she could care for it, which she did.

The other farmer stumbled over a situation where a leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis) was stalking and in a rapidly progressing attack which resulted in the mother escaping and the calf following the farmer instead of her mother, and this resulted in the unplanned and likely unwanted adoption of the calf.

Dema is confident she will provide for the calf until it is ready to move on by itself, but want the local or regional wildlife authorities to manage the best possible path to re-introduction to the wild, as that is Dema’s ultimate goal. She had no interest in keeping it for any other purpose than making sure it would grow up healthy and strong.

That said, the amazingly close bond between them was obvious and here the deer wonders why the door to the house is closed as it prefers to sleep inside the farmer’s house. It went all the way up to the door and sniffed and turned its head as to tell it wanted to go inside. Yet outside it had all the freedom and safety it could want. The dogs regarded it as family and it was free to roam wherever it anted.

I had one more day here and was hoping I could see it while inside the house the following day.

Elevation: 1529 meter

Last updated on 7 October 2021