Thenmala Deer Park Photos & Info - Eco Tourism @ Kerala

deer rehabilitation centre entrance board, attractions of thenmala deer rehabilitation cente,deer parks of kerala,thenmala eco tourism deer park info boardPhotos of  Deers in the deer rehabilitation centre from the forests of Thenmala/ Kollam/ Kerala/ India. This deer park of Thenmala is a distant part of Thenmala eco tourism and is built within the Kallada river side forest. Apart from various varieties of deers what you can see interesting here is a Tree House and a small Childrens park with some ecologically blended resting places. 

Various walking routes into the forests can be seen and if you a group of people with plenty of time to spend here no harm in walking into the park forests. What you will witness for sure in these forests in big trees of the western ghats and most of them with a name board fixed by the park authorities, So that you won't end up disappointed thinking of what tree this can be.

In the deer park you can see Barking Deer (Kezha Maan in Malayalam), Sambar Deer (Mlave), Spotted deer[Chittal, Cheetal, Axis deer, Pulli Maan in Malayalam].

The forest in deer rehabilitation centre is a collection of huge trees and many of them are having interesting trunk shapes. The deers are fenced inside the forested land and you can walk around the fence and watch for the deers. Deer herds can be seen around the water tanks near to the fencings. Am giving you some photos of the deers we saw here within our limited time we spent in this deer rehabilitation centre.The info about deers given here are obtained from the tourist info board fixed at some places of the deer park.

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This will be the first deer you will witness coming into the park. Even though its a lifeless sculpture, it stands tall over a big rock there in the park as a monument of a spotted deer once lived here. The dead deer was that special to the people taking care of deers here to make a deer sculpture monument.

The tourist info board below the deer sculpture says it is for the memory of a deer named Krishnan. The male spotted deer was bought to the centre in 1999 at the age of 5. Krishnan remained as the main attraction of Thenmala Ecotourism deer park for 10 years. The antlers in the deer statue are the original antlers of the stag. After spending a decade of royal life in the banks of River Kallada, he took his last breath on 27 October 2009.

You have to take your right turn from this statue and walk along the side of the deer park fencing and watch for the deers. What about a walk with me now. I will show you the deers i saw inside the park fences.
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A spotted deer with two others, may be some among the barking deers or samba deers in the park. The deers are seen eating something from the feeding tanks. Water and extra food other than what they can get from the park forests are given in small concrete tanks like this. Most of the tanks are built near to the park's fencing thereby helping tourists to get a sight of the deers.

As per the tourist information boards in the park, giving you some information on Sambar Deer.
Scientific Name: Cervus Unicolor
Common Name: Sambar Deer
Vernacular Name: Mlave
Conservation Status: Not threatened

Physical Characteristics of Sambar Deer
Sambar deer attains height of 102 to 160cms (40-63 inches) in the shoulder and may weight as much as 546Kg(1200pounds), though more typically 162-260Kg. Sambar is a typical forest deer with shaggy dark brown coat. It's India's largest deer. The large rugged antlers are typically rusine, the brown lines being simple and the beams forked at the tip. In some sambar deers the antlers exceed 101 cms.

Ecology and lifestyle of Sambar Deers
Sambars are primarily browsers that live in woodlands and feed mainly on coarse vegetation, grass and herbs. They are diurnal animals that live in herds of 5-6 deer members.These deers seldom far from water bodies and although primarily of the tropics are hardy and may range from sea level upto high elevations.These deers are seen in habitats ranging from tropical dry forests and seasonal moist evergreen forests, sub tropical mixed forests to tropical rain forests.In tropical rain forests their densities are probably very low. In these areas the deer prefers clearings and areas adjacent to water bodies. Sambars are favourite prey items for the Tigers.

Though Sambar deers have no specific mating season they usually mates from September onto January in the northern hemisphere. Males defend rutting territories and attempt to attract females by vocal and olfactory displays.The male deers are solitary and highly aggressive to other males during this time.Female sambars usually live in group of eight.A male sambar deer may have a whole female group in his territory.The gestation period for female sambars is around 9 months with one fawn born at a time.Sambar fawns have brown hair with light spots which they loose shortly.Fawns stay with their mothers upto 2 years.

Sambar Deer Distribution across the world.
Sambar deers inhabit much of Southern Asia(as far north as the south facing slopes of Himalayan mountains), mainland south east Asia, southern China, Taiwan, and the islands of Sumatra and Borneo in Indonesia. Sambars are seen congregating in large herds in protected areas such as national parks and wildlife reserves in India.Sri Lanka and Thailand. their main threats are poaching Habitat loss and diseases.
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Just Spotted a 'Spotted Deer' alone under a named forest tree inside the deer park
Spotted Deer Info provided by Kerala Forestry Wildlife Department 
Scientific Name: Axis axis
Common Names: Spotted deer, Chittal, Axis deer, Cheetal.
Vernacular Name: Pulli Maan
Conservation Status: Least Concern

Physical Characteristics of Spotted Deer
Chittal's coat is reddish fawn marked with white spots, and its under part is white. The deer's antlers which it sheds annually are usually three-pronged and curve in a lyre shape and may extend to 75 cm, ie 2.5 feet.Axis Deers have a protracted breeding season due in part to the tropical climate and births can occur throughout the year. For this reason males do not have their antler cycles in synchrony and there are some fertile female deers at all times of the year.Male sporting hard antlers are dominant over those in velvet or those deers without antlers, irrespective of their size and other factors. A chital stands about 90 cm, 3 feet tall, at the shoulder and weights about 85 kg. Lifespan is around 20-30 years.

Ecology and Lifestyle of Axis Deers 
Chittal or spotted deers occur in herds of 10 to 30 deers, with one or two stags and a number of females and young deers.They are often fairly tolerant to human approach and vehicles especially where they are accustomed to human disturbance.Their most preferred habitat is deciduous forests especially around fringes.Chitals eats primarily grasses and vegetation. These spotted deers have a sharp Ack, Ack Call anda loud WOW alarm call.

Spotted deer distribution around the world.
Spotted deer is a deer which commonly inhabits wooded regions of Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh and most of India.It is the most common and visible deer species in Indian forests. Their major threats are poaching and cattle grazing.
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A deer heard found in the park. One is spotted deer for sure and the others can be barking deers or sambars or both. Anyway i haven't heard anyone barking in them. The antlers of the deers are found velvet skin covered saying they are in the preliminary stages of growth.The deer photos are taken holding  the cellphone inside the fence through small gaps in which our hands can hardly go in. No fear of ma hand as haven't heard about a carnivore deer yet, but if ma cellphone is dropped in, i won't think there will be a kind deer to return it back. If you having a digital cam with you having proper optical zoom, you can zoom in through the fence and get the deer closeups.

Barking Deer Info @ Tourist info boards in the Deer park.
Scientific Name: Muntiacus muntjak
Common Name: Barking Deer
Vernacular Name: Kezha Maan
Conservation Status: Least Concern

Physical Characteristics of Barking Deer
The muntjac's coat is golden tan on the dorsal side and white on ventral side of the body, limbs are dark brown to reddish brown, and the face is dark brown.Barking deers have soft, short, brownish or greyish hair, sometimes with creamy markings.Male muntjacs have antlers that are very short,about 1-2 inches.Female deers have tufts of fur and small bony knobs where the antlers are located in male deers.Male deers are usually larger than females.The body length of muntjacs varies from 35-53 inches and their heights ranges from 15-26 inches. Male barking deers are extremely territorial and can be fierce for their size.They will fight each other for territory using their antlers or their tusk like upper canine teeth., and can defend themselves against predators.

Ecology and Lifestyle of Barking deers
Barking deers usually feeds on seeds, fruits, shoots and leaves. They are usually found feeding at the edges of forests or abandoned clearings. Barking deers gives calls similar to barks on sensing predators. The Indian Muntjacs are polygamous animals. Female deers sexually mature during their first or second year of life.The gestation period is six to seven months and they usually bear one offspring at a time but sometimes produce twins.Indian barking deers are considered extremely solitary animals. Male deers acquire territories that they mark with scent markers on the ground and on trees, scraping their hooves against the ground and scraping the bark of the trees with their lower incisors. Muntjacs exhibit both diurnality and nocturnality.They are more likely to be heard in the mornings and evenings. A sharp bark of the deer indicates danger while a slightly longer shriller version is normal call.

Barking deer Distribution round the world
Barking deers are found in north Eastern Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Southern China and Vietnam. Muntjacs are usually found in plentiful forests and places with dense vegetation such as Grass Lands, Savannas, Tropical deciduous forests, and tropical scrub forests. They are also populated in the hilly country on the slopes of Himalayas.barking deers are found at both sea level and medium height altitudes upto 9800 feet. They never wander far from water bodies.
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Thenmala Deer Rehabilitation Park Tourist Info
How to reach the deer park: The park is situated in Kollam District of Kerala / India, beside NH 208 between Ottakkal lookout weir dam and Thenmala Parappar dam or eco tourism project office.

Deer Park Visiting Times
8 am to 6 pm the park is open for tourists.

Thenmala Deer Park Ticket Rates
Adults have to take tickets of charge 15 INR and Children of height from 76-137 cm have to take tickets of INR 10/-. International tourists are charged 30 INR for visiting the park for a day.

As in most of the forested and wildlife tourist spots in Kerala, this place also demands the tourists not to litter any plastics,and the plastic carry bags etc should be kept in the park ticket counter. Smoking and drinking inside the deer park is strictly prohibited.

Coming from Kollam side after passing the lookout point Weir dam, the deer park is the first visiting spot intended for tourists. If you are just exploring the places than in a planned strictly timed tour trip, you may find many spots by the Kallada river banks interesting before reaching here in this deer park. Reminding you many portions of the river is classified under river danger zones and don't try to step into in the river even though the water appear calm and slow flowing.

The tree house in this deer park is a main attraction around. For the money you are spending in this deer rehabilitation centre its worth if you like wild life and big forest trees beside a calm flowing forest river.
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