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Tuesday, 4 November 2014


Four rare deer with fangs were spotted in northeast Afghanistan. The Wildlife Conservation Society confirmed a male, two females, and a juvenile, were observed on three separate occasions. Wildlife officials said the species not seen or recorded in more than 60 years. 
Kashmir musk deer are commonly called “deer with fangs,” as the males grow long tusk-like teeth as opposed to antlers. During rutting season, the deer use their “tusks” as weapons against other male deer.

As reported by Smithsonian, there are several known species of deer with fangs. However, seven species are exclusive to the mountains of Asia. Although locals have reported multiple sightings throughout the last 60 years, their existence was last documented in 1948.

Wildlife officials confirmed that humans are the musk deer’s worst enemy. In addition to loss of habitat due to deforestation, the endangered deer are hunted for their musk. As the musk “can be worth three times more than its weight in gold,” the rare animals are often sought by poachers.

It is nearly impossible to determine how may deer with fangs still exist. However, the Afghanistan Biodiversity Conservation Program estimates the “numbers are likely to be low and perhaps very localized.”

 Musk deer

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