Reeves’ Muntjac Deer

Latin Name Muntiacus reevesi
Class Mammalia
Order Cetartiodactyla
Family Cervidae
IUCN status Least concern
Habitat Dense scrub and woodland, quiet gardens
Distribution Native to China and Taiwan introduced to UK in 1894

General Information

Introduced to Woburn where escapees and deliberate releases have led to this pretty little deer having a wide distribution in central England, also a few in northern Wales and northern England. This deer takes its name from John Reeves, who was appointed the Assistant Inspector of Tea at the British East India Company in 1812. They are one of the oldest known species of deer appearing 35 million years ago.

Muntjac are a solitary deer although many individuals may occur in the same area. They feed on grasslands, brambles, ivy but also make themselves unpopular by feeding on protected plants such as bluebells and primroses.

The males have small antlers and sharp canines which resemble tusks.

Fun Fact

Muntjac are a ‘barking’ deer rather than a ‘whistling’ deer. They call in short, sharp barks when alarmed which is often mistaken for foxes.

Keeper Notes

We have a just one male Muntjac now.