Mammalia > Artiodactyla > Cervidae > Barking Deer - Muntjak (Muntiacus muntjak)
Kakad (Muntiacus muntjak), also called Barking deer or Muntjac, is an elusive member of deer family is found in the Kalesar forest in district Yamunanagar, Haryana and also in all the dense jungles of India. It has been named after its alarm call, which bears a striking resemblance to the bark of dog.
These animals grow to a height of 50-75 cm and weigh about 25 kilograms. They have a life expectancy of around 25 years. They mostly live in solitude and are only very rarely seen in numbers exceeding two. Due to their low height and small stature, their diet consists of various grass and fallen fruits.
The Barking Deer or Muntjak rarely venture out into open grasslands and are seen feeding near the edge of dense forests. These animals, which resemble a goat from some distance, can also frequently be seen at salt licks. They are mostly diurnal in habit but it is almost impossible to see them at night due to their dense habitat areas. Their alarm call, unless endlessly repeated, is not taken seriously as an indication of the presence of a predator. They are easily startled by any movement.
A definite identification mark to recognize a barking deer is from the two raised dark ridges on the forehead that extend into its antlers. A unique trait of the Barking deer is that, unlike other members of the deer family, they possess a pair of antlers as well as overgrown canines known as tushes. Both of these are used as weapons in combat but the tushes are used more effectively and frequently.
They are found in Haryana and many other parts of India and have fortunately not yet found their name on the endangered list. Earlier they used to be hunted for their meat, which is said to be good for pickling, but now their hunting is banned in Haryana.