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White Lipped Deer

Also known as Thorold's Deer, Cervus albirostris is one of the largest species of deer, with males reaching up to 500lbs and measuring 6ft in length. They are native to cold, high elevation grasslands in China and Tibet. Their brown coats get substantially thicker in the winter to accommodate the colder weather. They are also an incredibly sure-footed species for their size, with hooves that are well suited to climbing.

White Lipped Deer at the Lincoln Park Zoo
White Lipped Deer live in single sex herds for most of the years, with the males apart from the females and calves. During the mating season however, the herds will intermingle, and deer of all ages and sexes can be found. Herds typically number around 50-60 individuals at the height of the mating season, though even larger ones, with 200-300 members, have been reported. Males fight aggressively for mates, with help from their up to 4ft long, 15lb antlers. The gestation period is 7-8 months, and only one calf is born. A female White Lipped Deer may have 7-8 calves in her lifetime.

White Lipped Deer are considered vulnerable in the wild, due to over-hunting and habitat loss. Their antlers are used in traditional medicines. There are about 100 in captivity (I'm lucky enough to live near a zoo that has them.)


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