Prior to last week, it had not been seen in the wild for over sixty years. But now rough-and-tumble Afghans have one more scary wild beast to add to their already-impressive list of frightening creatures – a real-life Kashmir musk “vampire” deer with six-inch fangs!
Researchers in Afghanistan had not seen a Kashmir musk deer since 1948. But a team of scientists reported last week that they have made five Kashmir musk deer sightings in a secluded range of land in Afghanistan. Included in the coven of wild beasts were a male, two females, and a baby! Alas, the scientists say the vampire deer is hard to photograph (duh, it’s a vampire) so no pictures of the elusive beasts have been captured yet.
The Kashmir deer is considered endangered. Its scent glands are a high-ticket black-market item and are used to make perfume and incense (the Kashmir’s smelly stuff can sell for $20,000 a pound). The male of the species has telltale fangs jutting from its mouth but despite the scary look, they don’t use the fangs to eat other animals or small children. They use them solely to joust with other males during the mating season. In fact, the Kashmir musk deer is an herbivore. Or at least that’s what they *want* us to think…
Note: A group of Kashmir deer is not called a “coven”. A group of vampires is a coven. A group of Kashmir deer is really called a “herd” as in the sentence “If I herd there was a group of Kashmir musk deer in the area I would run for my life.”
In-Article Image CreditsKashmir musk deer with fangs via Wikimedia Commons with usage type - Creative Commons License
Fanged Kashmir vampire deer via ZME Science by Julie Larsen maher with usage type - Editorial use (Fair Use)
Featured Image CreditFanged Kashmir vampire deer via ZME Science by Julie Larsen maher with usage type - Editorial use (Fair Use)