Axis Deer, also known as Chital Deer or Spotted Deer, are the native animal of the Indian subcontinent. Axis Deer are found very commonly in India and are one of the most beautiful animals in the country. The Axis Deer of India was introduced in the state of Texas in the 1930s. Since that time, Axis deer have become the most abundant exotic ungulate in Texas. Axis deer are found mostly in large family units, where a doe remains with her mother even after becoming a mother herself. Axis Deer can be seen roaming around either in mixed groups or separate bachelor groups. In 1988, free-ranging herds were established in 27 counties of central and southern Texas. At this time, it also occurs as a confined animal on ranches in 67 other counties.
The Axis Deer has a beautiful golden brown coat, which is covered with big white spots. On average, a male deer (known as stag) grows to a shoulder height of somewhere between 33cm and 35cm. The weight of a stag averages around 175 lbs. Does are shorter as well as lighter. The coat of an adult Axis Deer has brighter spots as compared to that of fawns. At the same time, the white throat patch of a stag is more prominent than that of a doe.
The antlers of the Axis Deer branch to six points and sweep back into an upward curve. They shed their antlers on an annual basis. Mostly, the antlers of Indian chital deer grow to a length of 20 inches. Only some deer have antlers that reach 30 inches. An Indian spotted deer, whose anglers were 41 inches long, still holds the record for having the longest antlers in the world.
The natural habitat of the Axis Deer comprises of Indian parkland habitats, with open woodland in grassy areas. They prefer to live near rivers and other sources of water. In rare cases, they may inhabit thick forests.
The mating behavior of the axis deer is quite different from the other deer. They do not follow any seasonal rut and fawning can occur in any month. In fact, one can find Axis Deer in hard horn and in velvet at the same time. Axis Deer are also not seen wallowing during rut. Rather, they emit a shrill call, proudly displaying their beautiful antlers. The gestation period is 220 days, after which a single young one is born.