Giant Muntjac Deer: Dangerous and Aggressive or Just Misunderstood?

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Giant Muntjac Deer are the most widespread deer in southeast Asia and are found in India, Sri Lanka, Burma, Thailand, and Cambodia. They are known for their short antlers which are usually less than 15 cm long.

Some people have called them “deer with attitude” because of how they behave when threatened or if their territory is breached.

The muntjac can be aggressive and will sometimes attack humans that get too close to the animal or at the same level as themselves. It’s this behavior that has led many people to believe that they’re dangerous animals.

It’s also suggested that the behavior is a result of human encroachment onto their territory, with them defending it from any threats- which often leads to conflict with humans.

Are Muntjac Deer Dangerous?

If you’re thinking about hunting or interacting with muntjac deer, it’s important to be aware of their potential threats and take precautions accordingly. Muntjac deer are one of the most aggressive deer species and can be unpredictable and dangerous when startled or threatened. If you’re planning on hunting or interacting with muntjac deer, it is important to be aware of their size, temperament, and behavior. Here are some tips to help keep you safe:

-Stay alert: Pay attention to your surroundings at all times when out hunting or interacting with muntjac deer. Be aware of potential threats around you, and stay calm and respectful if an encounter occurs.

-Be cautious: Do not approach an unfamiliar deer too closely. Muntjac deer can reach speeds of up to 60 miles per hour, making them capable of inflicting serious injuries if provoked. Take the time to study your target before making a move.

-Use caution when hunting in open areas:  Muntjac deer are frequent users of open spaces, so be aware of your surroundings when hunting in these areas. Avoid hunting near roads, streams, or other busy areas where they may be startled or frightened by sudden noise or movement.

-Keep your children safe: If you have young children who are interested in hunting, make sure they understand the risks involved and know how to handle an unexpected encounter with a muntjac deer. Teach them to stay calm and avoid making sudden movements.

What İs A Giant Muntjac Deer?

Giant Muntjac deer, also known as the large-antlered muntjac is a subspecies of the common muntjac deer. It is about twice as big as the common muntjac and has much larger antlers.

Harvested for its meat and sold in the pet trade, it is becoming increasingly rare. The Giant Muntjac was not recognized as a subspecies until the 1990s.

Today they are confined to an area in China with an unknown distribution range.

Physical Description

Physical Description

It is the largest species in the Muntiacinae subfamily and the largest living species of deer. Giant Muntjac can grow to be 2.5 feet tall and weigh up to 140 pounds. The males have large antlers that can span up to 5 feet across!

The Giant Muntjac has a red-brown coat with a silver sheen on its neck, back, and flanks. It has a white undercoat and short white markings on its muzzle, eyes, ears, and inner forelegs, as well as two stripes running along the center of its brown-striped tail.

What İs Giant Muntjac Size?

The Giant Muntjac can easily reach lengths of around 2 meters and weights of up to 143 kg.

Geographic Range 

The Giant Muntjac is a deer species that primarily live in the forests of the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia. It is closely related to the Sika deer and is found primarily in India, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Myanmar.

It was first described by Scottish zoologist John Anderson in 1865 based on a specimen from the Sylhet Division of Bangladesh.


Giant Muntjacs can be found at altitudes up to 4,000 meters. They live near forest areas with the densest vegetation the higher altitude they reach. They also often find shelter in rock crevices or dead trees on high slopes.


Males usually mate with multiple females when mating season arrives, but females only mate with one male at a time during that period.

The reproduction process of the Muntjac is unique and unlike any other animal on Earth. The males and females will mate for one night, and then they will separate while pregnant with their young.

The mother does not care for her offspring while she is carrying them, which makes it difficult for them to survive in this environment.

The Muntjac is a great example of how having just one male does not affect the population size because he becomes impotent after mating with just one female.

How Long Does A Giant Muntjac live?

Giant Muntjac lives up to 15 years, depending on the environment it is living in, which means that they are long-living animals.

Communication And Perception

The Giant Muntjac is a communication and perception giant that can be found in the rainforests of Borneo. Like other deer, Giant Muntjacs are herbivores with long, slender snouts to help them forage for food.

However, they are also able to communicate via an elaborate system of vocalizations, including barks, grunts, whistles, and even human speech.

Food Habits

The Giant Muntjac primarily feeds on leaves, shoots, and fruit from trees and shrubs, supplemented with grasses, roots, flowers, mushrooms, and small mammals such as rodents and rabbits.

It is known to be territorial when defending its home range against other members of the species; it has been observed chasing predators such as tigers away from its territory.

Anti-predator Adaptations 

Anti-predator Adaptations

It has become the prey of various predators like thai tigers and leopards. To avoid this vulnerable situation, they have developed anti-predator adaptions which include camouflage colors and antlers with thorny points to protect themselves.

Muntjacs are not the only animals to adapt to anti-predator adaptation techniques. They just happen to be one of them.

The Giant Muntjac are known to have large spurs on their knees, which are used to break the necks of intruders. These adaptations have made the Giant Muntjac a top predator in Asia.

Giant Muntjacs are also able to fight off predators because of their speed. They can run at speeds of 40 mph for over three miles without tiring.


The population was estimated at 2,500 individuals in 2008 but has dropped significantly due to hunting pressure.

Conservation Status

The IUCN Red List estimates that the species could be eliminated within 100 years if no conservation measures are taken.

Ecosystem Roles 

An ecosystem is a group of interacting species, and the role of the Giant Muntjac is to provide a habitat for other species.

-The Complete Guide to Roosevelt muntjac and What You Need to Know

Where Do Giant Muntjac Sleep?

Giant Muntjac are nocturnal animals. They typically sleep in dense vegetation for much of the day.

What Plants Do Giant Muntjac Avoid?

A Giant Muntjac typically avoids plants like:
*Brassicas (like cabbage)
*Dill (because it has a strong scent)
*Chamomile flowers (because they have a distinctive smell)

Can Giant Muntjac Swim?

The answer is yes. It can swim in order to find food and take shelter in the water when the sun is too hot, but also because water provides it with much needed relief from insects like mosquitoes which are constantly biting its skin.

How high can a Giant Muntjac jump?

As per a study conducted by scientists, the Giant Muntjac can jump as high as 21 feet, which is equivalent to about 4.4 meters from the ground. This is one of the best jumps recorded for this species among all other species of antelope.

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