Here in Bali the reindeer would have trouble adjusting to the sunny and tropical weather year round. Instead, we get to meet their distant relatives the Javan deer. The Javan deer is a smaller version of the reindeer from the northern hemisphere.
The reindeer is closely associated with one of the symbolic icons of Christmas. Especially with the advent of mainstream media, depictions of this furry mammal extend to films and books about Rudolph the Reindeer who helps Santa with his duties.
The males are referred to as “bucks” while the females are “does”. They are the most ubiquitous mammals in the North American continent found in the marshlands and wilderness of the United States and Canada.
In this article we will be sharing interesting facts about the Javan deer, and why they are just as fascinating as their bigger relatives.
What is the Javan Deer?
The Javan deer as a species are generalists, meaning they are excellent in adapting to their surroundings and are able to survive in many different types of terrain and food options.
Once they’ve found a location where they can find sustainable food, they will generally stay within that vicinity and make their home within a range of one square mile of the food source.
What is their diet?
Deer’s are natural herbivores that like to graze for any plantation or vegetation that they happen to find. However, they can literally sustain themselves with any type of vegetation regardless of how tough or difficult they are to digest.
It has been recorded that they can eat up to 600 different types of plants without any problems. They can even eat fungi and mushrooms that would otherwise be poisonous to humans.
Their flexibility also allows them to keep up with human development by feeding off of the crops or plants that we plant. This is a testament to their high adaptation skills.
What makes Javan Deer so adaptable?
Javan deers have evolved to have 4-chambered stomachs that allow them to digest extremely tough vegetation. They can even cough up any food they swallow and re-chew it to make it more digestible.
In addition, they are equipped with sharp incisors and big molar teeth to grind even the most rugged and fibrous vegetation.
What makes their antlers so special?
The antlers on male deers are made of true bone and are actually warm to the touch. These differ from other animals where their horns are made of keratin.
Therefore, bucks are highly protective of their own antlers. When faced with a fight, they prefer to fight with their hooves rather than risking their delicate antlers.
The Javan deer is perhaps the closest you can get to interacting with the reindeers in Santa’s books.
Come and visit them at Bali Safari Park to learn more about these fascinating animals.