Scientific name: Axis axis
Other common names: Axis Deer; Spottet Deer
The Chital is native to deciduous or semi-evergreen forests and open grasslands in Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Pakistan. It is the most common deer species in Indian forests.
The Chital has been introduced to Queensland, Australia, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Point Reyes National Seashore near San Francisco, California, Texas and Florida as well as Hawaii in the United States and to the Veliki Brijun Island in the Brijuni Archipelago of the Istrian Peninsula in Croatia.
Appearance / health:
The chital's coat is reddish fawn, marked with white spots, and its underparts are white. Its antlers, which it sheds annually, are usually three-pronged and curve in a lyre shape and may extend to 75 cm (2.5 ft). Compared to the hog deer, its close relative, the chital has a more cursorial build, its antler pedicles are proportionally short and its auditory bullae is smaller. It also has large nasals. It stands about 90 cm (3 ft) tall at the shoulder and masses about 85 kg (187 lb), although males tend to be larger than females. Its lifespan is around 20–30 years.
Behavior / temperament:
Axis deer most commonly occur in herds of ten to fifty individuals of both sexes. Large dominant stags without velvet stay in the center of the herd and are surrounded by the females and their young.