Fun Eld's Deer Facts For Kids

Christian Mba
Nov 16, 2022 By Christian Mba
Originally Published on Aug 26, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Fact-checked by Kidadl Team
Enchant yourselves with these interesting facts on the Eld's deer.
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 7.3 Min

The Eld's deer is one of the most beautiful and enchanting deer species you have probably seen. Also called the brow-antlered deer and thamin, this endangered species has its range mainly spread across South and Southeast Asia.

This deer species has many binomial names - Cervus eldii, Panolia eldi, and Rucervus eldii. There are three different subspecies under the brow-antlered deer/Eld's deer.

The thamin has a long body, adorned with large beautiful antlers. Males are usually larger than females. This body seems to change colors with the weather, from light brown in summer to dark brown in winter.

Unfortunately, many reasons have led to the decline of this species. Some of them include predation by larger animals, loss of habitat, poaching, and lack of food.

For more relatable content, check out these key deer facts and reindeer facts for kids.

Eld's Deer Interesting Facts

What type of animal is an Eld's deer?

The Eld's deer is a type of deer.

What class of animal does an Eld's deer belong to?

The brow-antlered deer/Eld's deer belongs to the class of mammals.

How many Eld's deer are there in the world?

It has been estimated in 2004 that about 180 deer of this species are surviving in the Indian state of Manipur. A 1992 survey by the United Nations estimated state about 2200 specimens of Eld's/Brow-antlered deer have their range in Thailand and Burma. Unfortunately, this endangered species of deer has faced a possible extinction in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos.

In 2003, estimates made for the various subspecies still surviving and kept captive in the zoos were 23 P. e. siamensis, 1100 P. e. thamin, and about 180 P. e. eldi specimens.

Where does an Eld's deer live?

The thamin is entirely endemic to the regions of South and Southeast Asia. Formerly, the Eld’s deer had a wide distribution extending from the state of Manipur in India to Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia to the Hainan Island of China.

What is an Eld's deer's habitat?

The Eld's deer/ thamin prefers forest habitats, though avoiding densely forested areas. They are also found on lowland plains, grasslands, shrublands, savannas, and valleys. They stay away from coastal areas. They even love staying in marshlands, which are vegetated with tall grass and reeds, making it easier for them to hide. They are often found staying close to rivers or other water sources.

Who do Eld's deer live with?

The female Eld’s deer are usually spotted either alone, or paired with their young ones. Male deer stay alone usually, however they come together in hers during the breeding season.

How long does an Eld's deer live?

It has been estimated that the Cervus eldi has a lifespan between the range of 10-16 years in the wild. Females, however, have been said to survive until 19 years when kept in captivity.

How do they reproduce?

On the arrival of the breeding season, females and their young gather together in herds. These herds may have about 50 individuals. Males also come near the herd and compete with each other to gain dominance over the female harem, and hence get the control to choose whom to breed with. Eld’s deer show polygynous behavior.

The breeding season takes place between the months of February to May. The gestation period is pretty long, going on for about 34 weeks. After such a long gestation period, a single fawn arrives in the world, born between the months of October and November. The cool-dry season is chosen primarily because the waters would have receded by then, and fresh vegetation would have begun growing. There may be very rare instances when two little fawns are born. However, it is often that they are either born stillborn or die within the first few days of birth.

Immediately after birth, females hide their young ones and keep an eye out for predators. These fawns are looked after for about 5-7 months, after which they become strong enough to be independent and join the herd. They mature around the age of 1.5-2 years old. Females can continue to reproduce until the age of 12 years. They are capable of giving birth every year.

Male deer usually keep an eye out to protect the herd but hardly participate in any parental activities.

What is their conservation status?

 The conservation status of the brow-antlered deer is 'Endangered'.

Eld's Deer Fun Facts

What do Eld's deer look like?

Eld’s deer are medium-sized deer, quite similar to the barasingha. Their physical description of this regal, elegant and graceful species is similar to the Cervus genus. The brow-antlered deer has long, thin legs. The long body is also straight and firm, continuing to a large head supported by a thin neck. This large head is complemented with large ears as well. Males have a thick mane of long hair at their throats. Males are much larger in comparison with females, both in terms of weight and height.

The fur coats of thamin deer are coarse and rough. In fact, they change colors according to the season. On hot summer days, you can see reddish-brown-hued bodies. As the cold winter days arrive, the fur coats turn dark brown, with males being darker than their female counterparts. Compared to the body size, the tail is actually short. The rump has no distinct colored patch.

The antlers of Eld’s deer are either lyre- or bow-shaped. They do not grow upwards, but instead grow outwards for a small length and then inwards. A smaller branch develops towards the front of the deer’s head. The brow tines are well distinguishable and long, thus giving the thamin its alternate name - the ‘brow-antlered deer’. These antlers are shed by the deer every year. They get the largest during the breeding season. Most stags are spotted having antlers with 12 tines. However, a few specimens have been recorded having over 20 tines.

The males of the Rucervus eldii/Eld's deer species are larger in size than females.

How cute are they?

We would definitely call the Rucervus eldii a cute deer species.

How do they communicate?

All species of deer communicate with sound, body postures, movements, chemicals, and smell.

Sometimes, they make barking sounds in situations of alarm, or loud, shrill whistles while mating. Other sounds include soft grunts and snorts. They are also known to convey messages through ear twitching, foot-stomping, head bobbing, hoof pawing, tail flagging and even nose licking.

How big is an Eld's deer?

The head-to-body length of the thamin is about 59-72 in (150-182 cm). The height at the shoulder of the Eld’s deer is about 43-49 in (109-124 cm). The length of the tail is about 8-12 in (20.3-20.5 cm). The total length of the antlers can be up to 40 in (101 cm).

How fast can an Eld's deer move?

Sorry, we are not aware of how fast the brow-antlered deer/Eld's deer can move.

How much does an Eld's deer weigh?

The beautiful brow-antlered deer/Eld's deer weighs about 275.6-386 lbs (125-175 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

Male deer are usually called bucks or stags. Female deer are called doe or hind.

What would you call a baby Eld's deer?

A baby deer is called a fawn.

What do they eat?

This species mainly depends on grass for its fruit. It also feeds on fruits, vegetation around wetlands, and herbaceous plants. They have also been found feeding on cultivated crops like peas, lentils, rice, and maize.

Are they dangerous?

The thamin is a very peaceful species.

Would they make a good pet?

We think it is better if the Eld's deer/thamin are left in their natural habitat. They prefer having large areas to themselves to freely roam around and forage.

Did you know...

There are three different subspecies of Eld's deer.

Panolia eldii eldi : Also called the Manipur Eld's deer, this deer is found mainly in the Indian state of Manipur. This subspecies is called the 'sangai' in Meetai language.

P.e. thamin: Found both in Myanmar and west Thailand.

P.e. siamensisL Found in Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and China.

How much do Eld's deer antlers weigh?

We do not have an idea of how heavy the antlers of the Cervus eldii are as it has not been recorded.

Why are Eld's deer endangered?

Capturing the thamin has been considered a symbol of prestige among the hunters. Thus, these deer are widely hunted due to their beautiful hides and strong antlers, both of which are in high demand in the markets.

These deer were also hunted down for their meat. It is said that the meat of this deer fed armies during wars fought by Asian countries. Some also believed that parts of this deer had medicinal value.

Another reason leading to the decline of their population is habitat destruction, reservation of land which was otherwise used for grazing, and fish farming around the range of thamin population.

Furthermore, the brow-antlered deer is easy prey to large predators. Common animals preying on them include tigers, lions, jackals, wolves, dholes, leopards, and even domestic dogs.

The available habitat for the conservation of this species is very small. Only about 1% of protected forests in South Asia are well suited for the protection of this species. Unfortunately, the Eld’s deer have been poached in these protected lands as well.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals from our spiral horned antelope facts and mountain zebra facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable cartoon deer coloring pages.

Eld's Deer Facts

What Did They Prey On?

Grass, fruits, shoots

What Type of Animal were they?

Herbivore

Average Litter Size?

1

How Much Did They Weigh?

275.6-386 lb (125-175 kg)

What habitat Do they Live In?

open forests, marshes, and wetlands

Where Do They Live?

South Asia

How Long Were They?

59-72 in (150-182 cm)

How Tall Were They?

43-49 in (109-124 cm)

Class

Mammalia

Genus

Panolia

Family

Cervidae

Scientific Name

Panolia eldii/Rucervus eldii

What Do They Look Like?

Brown body, long antlers

Skin Type

Fur

What Are Their Main Threats?

hunting, predation, habitat loss

What is their Conservation Status?

Endangered
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Written by Christian Mba

Bachelor of Science specializing in Computer Science

Christian Mba picture

Christian MbaBachelor of Science specializing in Computer Science

Christian Mba is an experienced blogger and content writer with over a decade of experience. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from Nigeria and has a keen interest in Python programming. Along with his writing and blogging expertise, he is also an SEO specialist with more than six years of experience. Chris, as he is commonly known, has a passion for music and enjoys playing the piano.

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