“Ok, ok you got me!”
“I’ll confess and tell you everything!”
“I know everyone thinks that Barking Deer are sweet, cute, and innocent. But we’re not! I have to tell you the truth. We hate you and every other animal around! That’s why you rarely see us. We especially hate Leopards and we ‘bark’ to let the whole world know when one is near. We hate each other too, which is why we are almost always solitary. The only time there’s more than one of us is if we’re mating or if the other is our baby or if the dominant male allows a submissive male to hang around. Oh my, you should see it when territories are encroached. The horns come into play, so sharp and pointy, and so much blood. So aggressive and violent! Looking at us you wouldn’t think so, right?”
“Now, the worst secret of all. We’re… OMNIVOROUS! Not just that, we actively hunt small animals and beat them to death with our forelegs. Did you know that we have canine teeth to rip through their flesh, just like all the big predators? Mine are small, but the males have wicked ones! We do eat fruits, grass and seeds, but the warm flesh is so delicious. Still think we’re cute and dainty? We also steal eggs from nests. The shame! I’m tired of living the lie, and I had to confess the truth. Thank you for listening to me. I have to go, the solitary nature in me is kicking in. Goodbye!”
Story of the Photo
Although usually elusive, the Mahoora Tented Safari Camp in Wilpattu has a resident barking deer that grazes around the pond area in the camp. Dilum captured this image in the early morning whilst he was exploring the campgrounds.