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think that we know everything about the environment that surrounds us, but the Earth has so many gems that are shadowed for seeming like something normal to those who live next to or with these gems.

The Chinese water deer are scientifically known as Hydropotes inermis and are considered a prehistoric species close to normal deer that has not evolved. This is represented by the large fangs it has as well as the more predatorial behavior it presents.

Prehistoric times were full of vicious predators from small to big and many of the smaller creatures evolved from big carnivorous mammals with similar features that never left them, such as the large fangs.

This can also be seen from the sound it makes. People describe it to be very similar to a dog’s bark, although these sounds are usually made when the water deer is trying to defend itself.


Scientists identified that the water deer is about 30 million years old and describe the creature as secondarily primitive or basal. These terms refer to the water deer evolving from a much more primitive ancestor than most mammals.

This is also proven by its diet, despite its somewhat ferocious look the water deer is an herbivore just like all the other deer. The only time that the water deer actually uses its tusks is when defending itself or its babies.

Chinese Water Deer (Source: Wild Deer and Hunting Adventures)

Its primitive instincts from the ancestor it received its fangs from are still there. Most species of deer choose to flee when being approached, whilst the water deer is more courageous.

The water deer is most commonly found around China as well as Korea. However, the species is becoming quite rare as it has been heavily hunted by the locals not only for food but also for its special milk produced after giving birth named colostrum, which is very high in protein and antibodies, something that is commonly used for the production of supplements.

You may be wondering why they have been specifically named water deer, this is because this species of deer love to swim and they are one of the few species of deer that can actually swim.

A species close to becoming endangered

Whilst there have been many efforts by environmentalists trying to spread this species around the world, Asian countries that house most of the water deer do not have restrictions on hunting this species.

There are still many of them around, but sadly the number of water deer being hunted doubles each year. Records in 2016 showed a registered number of 113,763 water deers killed in “bounty hunting” (sports hunting) and in 2017 the number almost doubled to 182,665.

Zoos around the world have put in some great efforts to house this species and help it reproduce. Once reproduced many of them are launched into the wilderness in different parts of the world as this species is very adaptable to most environments, especially with its ability to swim.

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