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The “sore” spot Many times when I am on safari in the forests of India, I hear someone exclaim, usually in alarm, that there is a wounded deer over there. 99% of the time this ends up being a Sambar with a large open sore oozing blood on the ventral surface of the neck. This is a common sight, but despite that, scientists do not know what it is, or why it happens! It is always visible but is most obvious and &lsquo;oozy&rsquo; in the rutting season, from November to December. Because of this seasonal fluctuation, it is thought to be some kind of gland, and the ooze coming out of it is not actually blood but a fluid that may act as some kind of pheromone. It is a still a mystery, and not one is entirely sure what it is, what it is for and why it happens. It is important to note it is present on both male and female deer.<br />
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After many attempts, I managed to get a clean shot of the sore spot on this doe. It is out of season and not oozing, but is still very pronounced.<br />
 April2015competition,Geotagged,India,John Rowell,Rusa unicolor,Sambar,Winter,adhocphotographer,sore spot Click/tap to enlarge Promoted

The “sore” spot

Many times when I am on safari in the forests of India, I hear someone exclaim, usually in alarm, that there is a wounded deer over there. 99% of the time this ends up being a Sambar with a large open sore oozing blood on the ventral surface of the neck. This is a common sight, but despite that, scientists do not know what it is, or why it happens! It is always visible but is most obvious and ‘oozy’ in the rutting season, from November to December. Because of this seasonal fluctuation, it is thought to be some kind of gland, and the ooze coming out of it is not actually blood but a fluid that may act as some kind of pheromone. It is a still a mystery, and not one is entirely sure what it is, what it is for and why it happens. It is important to note it is present on both male and female deer.

After many attempts, I managed to get a clean shot of the sore spot on this doe. It is out of season and not oozing, but is still very pronounced.

    comments (2)

  1. That is very interesting, I did not expect this to be anything other than a wound. Posted 5 years ago
  2. Today's Facebook post:

    We’re moving on this week to focus on incredible creatures with unique features that are not found in humans! There are some pretty wild body parts found in nature! #JungleDragon

    Check out our growing 'Creature Features' list:

    SORE SPOT
    Adult male and pregnant/lactating female Sambar Deer (Rusa unicolor) possess an unusual, hairless, red spot halfway down their throats. This spot sometimes oozes a white liquid. Scientists do not know the function of this spot—it could be glandular and important in communication and breeding. Whatever it is, it certainly qualifies as unique. {Spotted in India by JohnR} #Sambadeer #Samba #Rusaunicolor

    https://www.facebook.com/jungledragonwildlife
    Posted 9 days ago

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The sambar is a large deer native to the Indian subcontinent, South China, and Southeast Asia that is listed as a vulnerable species on the IUCN Red List since 2008. Populations have declined substantially due to severe hunting, insurgency, and industrial exploitation of habitat.

Similar species: Even-toed Ungulates
Species identified by JohnR
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By JohnR

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Uploaded Mar 28, 2015. Captured Mar 16, 2015 07:41 in Nagarhole National Park, Nagarhole Road, Nalkeri Forest, Karnataka 571250, India.
  • Canon EOS 5D Mark III
  • f/4.0
  • 1/500s
  • ISO1600
  • 500mm