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- The largest deer found in Borneo, standing at a shoulder height of over 100cm. They are grey-brown in colour with a degree of red; underside is pale brown to cream.
- Adult males boast antlers with varying numbers of points depending on their age. One to two year old males have antlers with one point, three year olds have two points and older males have three or occasionally four points to their antlers.
- They are active mainly at night, early morning and late afternoon, feeding on a variety of vegetation including grasses and shrubs as well as fallen fruits.
- Their solitary nature and activity at night has most probably developed in order to avoid being hunted.
- Occasionally they can be seen in groups of two or more, but rarely do the groups consist of more than one adult male, more likely an adult male and female, or female with young.
- A recent citing of a sambar deer has been made at Danau Girang Field Centre during nocturnal work carried out by Rachel Munds and Ridzwan Ali.