Ciervo acuático (Sp), Wasserreh (G), Hydropote (F). Inermis is Latin for unarmed, alluding to its lack of antlers.
DESCRIPTION Very slightly larger than the Reeves muntjac. (male) Shoulder height 20-21 inches (51-53 cm). Weight 25-30 pounds (11-14 kg). Females are slightly smaller.
Summer coat is a uniform yellowish-brown, turning a dull brown flecked with gray in winter. Underparts are white. Winter coat is thick and coarse and tends to be loose. Ears are large and broad, tail very short. Does not grow antlers; however, the upper canine teeth of the male are greatly elongated, forming tusks that protrude from the lips. The female has very short canines. Both sexes have small inguinal (groin) glands; this is the only deer to have such glands.
BEHAVIOR Solitary or in pairs. Territorial. The rut takes place in winter with the fawns born May-June, usually twins, but 3-4 are common and as many as six have been recorded. Feeds mainly on grasses. Alarm call is a harsh bark, and males also whistle during the rut. When disturbed, it runs off with a series of leaps, much like a rabbit.
HABITAT Grassland and brushy woodland.
DISTRIBUTION Native to eastern China and Korea. Imported by the Duke of Bedford to his estate at Woburn Abbey, England, in the early 1900s. From there, introduced in zoos and other private collections. Escapees from Woburn and elsewhere have established free-ranging populations in southeastern England. Also introduced (1960-1965) for hunting purposes near Limoges, France, where it has adapted well. Can be found on private ranches in Texas.