The sambar (Rusa unicolor) deer is a large species which lives in the deciduous habitats of the Indian Subcontinent. It is also called Philippine sambar or sunda sambar.
Sambar deer have varied sizes and weights. The shoulder height in most deer is estimated at 102 – 160 cm. The average weight is about 546 kg but it mostly falls between 100 and 350 kg.
The head-body length is measured at 5.3 – 8.9 feet. Sambar deer have 22 – 35 cm tail.
Sambar deer have 110 cm long antlers. Females do not have antlers. The coat is yellowish brown in color.
Sambar deer are found throughout the mainland Asia including Indochina, South China, Taiwan, Thailand, Burma, Borneo, Malay Peninsula and Sumatra (Indonesia).
They will make habitats in tropical forests, conifers, tropical dry forests, broadleaf evergreen trees, deciduous forests, and tropical rainforests. Their habitat is found at an altitude 11,500 feet above sea level. They prefer to live near water bodies.
Sambar deer eats foliage, grass, shrubs, plants, fruits, and browses.
Sambar deer becomes active in the early hours of dawn and dusk. Sometimes when they are hungry they begin to feed at night.
They live in groups containing as many as 16 individuals. However on an average there are 3 – 4 individuals in a group.
Sambar deer live up to 12 years in the wild but in captivity they can live as much as 28 years.
The sambar deer population is Vulnerable.