My Weird Pet: A Muntjac, [Almost] the World's Smallest Deer (So Cute)

A curious muntjac
A curious muntjac
The muntjac is almost the world's smallest deer!
The muntjac is almost the world's smallest deer!

Don't get me wrong-- I love dogs.

But there's something about this little deer. The muntjac has stolen my heart.

I first came across one when I was in a petting zoo near my house. I noticed a small sign for a "Mini-Zoo" while lost in the backwoods a few miles from my home, and I decided to check it out. This petting zoo didn't just house your typical farm animals- the owner was a collector of exotic species.

Two lemurs caught my attention and I was being entertained by their antics when I noticed rustling next to their cage. I was surprised to find a tiny little creature, no taller than a housecat, staring up at me over a short fence.

It was a tiny little deer with big eyes, a wet nose, antlers, and tusks.

I had never seen a deer with tusks, not to mention such a miniature version of the white-tailed deer that I see almost every day in the woods.

I knelt down and stuck my hand into the cage. The muntjac sniffed me and let me stroke its forehead, between its little antlers. What it did next made my heart melt right there-- It leaned its head against the fence and closed its eyes.

Now, I've always been an animal lover, and having a strange deer warm up to me like that was the kind of thing I daydreamed about as a little kid.

And that is how I fell in love with the muntjac, almost the world's smallest deer!

Here a man talks about owning a muntjac, while the deer enjoys some love:

Adorable! Muntjac and dog playing:

Interesting Muntjac Facts:

  • The muntjac is mostly found in tropical zones of southern Asia, but has been introduced into temperate areas.
  • They were introduced into England in the 20th century, and now inhabit almost all of England and Wales. They are now moving into the Netherlands, Scotland, and Ireland.
  • Muntjac males are territorial, and use their antlers and large canines/tusks to fight with other males.
  • Some species of muntjacs are called Barking deer, because of the distinctive sound they make.
  • The Muntjac is the oldest known species of deer and coexisted with dinosaurs.
  • Muntjacs have huge scent glands between their eyes.
  • Muntjacs are in competition for the spot as the world's smallest deer. One species of muntjac was discovered in the Himalayas and credited with being the smallest, but most scientists are at a consensus that the smallest deer in the world is the PudĂș of South America.

What happened in the end:

After meeting the muntjac from the petting zoo (and going back to visit several times), I spoke to the owner about the possibility it taking him home. Unfortunately, the town that I live in classifies deer as livestock, and my back yard isn't big enough for a livestock permit. But I'll have the muntjac in the back of my mind until I move to a larger place, for sure.

Here's a little gallery of muntjac photos, so you can get your cuteness fix:

A startled or alert muntjac.
A startled or alert muntjac.
So cute! A baby muntjac.
So cute! A baby muntjac.
Adult muntjac. They are a bit funny looking.
Adult muntjac. They are a bit funny looking.
An adorable baby muntjac.
An adorable baby muntjac.

And the best for last:

A fuzzy baby muntjac. With a hairstyle.
A fuzzy baby muntjac. With a hairstyle.

More by this Author


Comments 14 comments

Nspeel profile image

Nspeel 5 years ago from Myrtle Beach

how much do one of these guys cost? I am going to have to add him to my exotic pets list. voted up and awesome


stephaniedas profile image

stephaniedas 5 years ago from Miami, US Author

The guy at the petting zoo said he paid $700 for his. He wanted $500 from me, because the muntjac was a male and past its breeding prime. I've found them online for anywhere from $500 to $1000, with the females usually costing a bit more. I guess they'd be cheaper in England, since they're so common over there. Thanks for the feedback.


tarrka1089 profile image

tarrka1089 5 years ago from Ohio

They are adorable. So what about health care issues, vaccines? [voted up and interesting]


stephaniedas profile image

stephaniedas 5 years ago from Miami, US Author

Thanks for the great feedback. They are super easy to care for. Baby deer stay where their mothers leave them, so for the first week or so you just need to make a comfortable little nest in your house and deer won't get up except to use the litter box. You're supposed to feed them a baby deer formula from a bottle, and get them the normal rabies shots that any outdoor animal should have. Other than that, nothing special as far as caring for them. It's probably a good idea to take them for a regular check up wit the vet to update their shots, but they aren't susceptible many intestinal parasites like dogs. They'll need flea and tick medicine so they don't bring bugs into the house after playing outside.


Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 5 years ago from Baltimore, MD

How adorable! This makes me want to run out and adopt a deer. I hope you get to buy your deer one day. He sounds so precious. Really cute hub!


stephaniedas profile image

stephaniedas 5 years ago from Miami, US Author

Thanks for the nice comment...I still go back to visit the one from the petting zoo from time to time.


kschimmel profile image

kschimmel 5 years ago from North Carolina, USA

These are too cute!


glassvisage profile image

glassvisage 5 years ago from Northern California

What an adorable pet. I've never seen or heard of it, and I love that you can own this in Delaware! :)


stephaniedas profile image

stephaniedas 5 years ago from Miami, US Author

Yea, as far as I know you can own it anywhere. Thanks for the feedback!


alocsin profile image

alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA

That is adorable. It's like have a little Bambi all to your own. Voting this Up and Beautiful.


stephaniedas profile image

stephaniedas 4 years ago from Miami, US Author

Thank you Alocsin! Who would have ever thought that a deer could make such a good pet?


Melissa A Smith profile image

Melissa A Smith 4 years ago from New York

Oh, I've wanted one for a while now, but I read mixed feelings about them as pets online, so I don't know if one is right for me. More owners need to speak up.


stephaniedas profile image

stephaniedas 4 years ago from Miami, US Author

@Melissa- Could you send me the links? I have only read good things, so I need to do more research. I think they are adorable, but obviously they aren't domesticated so they might have some quirks. Thanks for commenting, and I would love to read some more on them.


Sabrina 17 months ago

Hi!

I love this deer breed, and would like to adopt a baby doe (female). I was wondering if they get along with dogs. I have a great pyrenee, she is BIG! Over 100 lbs. I also have a morkie. I have 2 cats too. A american shorthair and birman. Would they get along with a leaf muntjac?

Thanks!!

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