Scientific name: Muntiacus reevesi
Other common names: Reeves Muntjac; Barking Deer
The Reeves' Muntjac is a muntjac species which is native to southeastern China (Gansu to Yunnan) and in Taiwan. They have also been introduced in the Netherlands, England and Ireland. It takes its name from John Reeves, who was appointed Assistant Inspector of Tea for the British East India Company in 1812.
The Reeves' Muntjac is also called the barking deer, known for its distinctive bark, though this name is also used for the other species of muntjacs. Along with the slightly smaller Leaf Muntjac Deer, Reeves Muntjac Deer are currently being bred as pets in the United States.
Appearance / health:
This muntjac grows to 0.5m high at the shoulder, 0.95 m (37 inches) in length, and weighs between 10 and 18 kg (22-40 pounds) when fully grown. It is dog-like in appearance but has striped markings on its face. The male has short antlers, usually four inches or less, and uses them to push enemies off balance so he can wound them with his upper two inch canine teeth.
Housing / diet:
The Reeves Muntjac Deer feeds on herbs, blossoms, succulent shoots, grasses and nuts, and was also reported to eat trees.
zoo, great display animals
agricultural quarantine diseases, house pets
I worked with a pair of Reeve's muntjacs and their yearly offspring in a zoo setting.
Reeve's muntjacs, also called barking deer, are not pet-quality animals. They may be the size of a small to medium dog, but they are hoofed animals, deer, and have that personality and activity. They are high-strung, though can become tame with persistent interaction with humans. They are not animals to be cuddled or held though. They do not like being restrained and they do have the capacity to injure themselves or a handler (more on that later).
Reeve's muntjacs can tolerate a wide range of temperatures, from high heat (they will be active in the morning and evening and be sedentary through the heat of the day) and very cold (they are established in Great Britain as an introduced species and can survive outdoors in British winters). A sizable pen is needed, at least 5x5 metres, with a fence of about 4 feet high. There should also be a shed house that has a cement floor and straw bedding, with a heat lamp or other heat source for cold climates. They must be safeguarded from dogs, foxes, coyotes, birds of prey, and wild cats. They must also be protected from disease from wild deer and other hoofed mammals.
Muntjacs can be fed a diet of ungulate pellets (measured, depending on body weight) and free-choice timothy and alfalfa hay as staples, with small supplements of leafy vegetables, root vegetables, and hard fruit. Water must always be available.
Muntjac bucks have very hard, sharp horns that they shed annually. The horns are formidable weapons despite the size. The neck muscles are very strong and this has to be kept in mind when handling. But they have another surprise -- fangs. Muntjacs of both sexes have long canine teeth and they can and will use them for defense. I was once sent to the hospital for a bite from a muntjac fawn (had to take a harmful food item given to it by a zoo visitor, it didn't want to let go). The bite went right through my fingernail and almost through the finger.
Muntjacs are great display animals, in a large, planted pen. Some people do keep them as house pets but they can't really be litter-trained and I don't recommend them as house pets. They are definitely not suitable pets for children either. Also, because they are cervids (deer), one needs to ensure that deer are legal to keep in one's municipality. Despite their small size, being hoof stock they can harbour significant agricultural quarantine diseases, so their local and state legality must be confirmed..
From bnaqqimanco Jun 23 2013 5:51PM