Siberian musk deer

LIVING HABITS

The Siberian musk deer can be found on the taigas in Siberia and in Mongolia. The musk deer prefer mountain forests and are well adapted to snowy surroundings. In the winter the musk deer feed mainly on lichen, yet in the summer they may eat also grass and tree-leaves. When searching for nutrition the musk deer may climb to the heights of up to 3-4 metres on tilted tree trunks.

The Siberian musk deer is a solitary animal, but may also live in small herds of up to three individuals.

PROTECTION

The Siberian musk deer is an endangered species. Their greatest threat is poaching. The name musk deer refers to musk gland; the secretion, musk, is one of the most expensive animal products. Musk is used in oriental medicine and as perfume.


ADAPTING TO THE WINTER

The musk deer boasts a very warm winter fur. Like with many arctic mammals, the fur has a hollow guard hair. In spite of its small size, the musk deer moves very nimbly in the snow.

Musk deers in Ranua Wildlide Park

The first musk deer individuals in Finland were the ones brought to the Ranua Wildlife Park from the Leipzig Zoo in Germany the beginning of 2013. In five different European wildlife parks there are altogether 14 individuals of musk deer species, of them two young male ones at the Ranua Wildlife Park.

Siberian musk deer

Moschus moschiferus

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FAMILY:

SIZE: Weight: 10-15kg, stands at 40-60cm at the withers.

BREEDING: Heat: December-March. Gestation: 6 months, offspring 1-3 at a time, weaning of the baby in 3-4 months. Sexual maturity in 15-17 months

LIFESPAN: 10–14 years.

Did you know that the male Siberian musk deer boasts especially long fangs, up to 10 centimetres? It uses them to fight for its territory.