New Delhi: Sangai, also called the brow-antlered deer or the dancing deer, is found only in the northeastern state of Manipur, India. It lives in the marshy wetland in the Keibul Lamjao National Park (KLNP), the only floating park in the world. The KLNP is an integral part of the Loktak Lake and is characterized by many floating decomposed plant materials locally called phumdis. The scientific name of Sangai is Rucervus eldii eldii McClelland.
Read to know some lesser known facts about this rare animal:
- Sangai is the state animal of Manipur and has been listed as an endangered species by the IUCN.
- The animal is a medium-sized deer, with uniquely distinctive antlers, measuring 100 -110 cm in length with extremely long brow tine, which form the main beam.
- They have a reddish brown to gray colored coat, dark brownish black nose, lips and mouth.
- Sangai feeds on a variety of water living plants, grasses, herbaceous plants, and shoots - Zizania latifolia, Saccharum munja, S bengalensis, Erianthus procerus, E ravernnae, etc, are the favorite food plants of the animal.
- Males are taller in height and darker in colour than their female counterparts.
- Rutting takes place in the early spring months between February and May. Gestation period is between 7.2 to 8.5 months, after which a calf is born.
- The young are spotted at birth, but these spots fade as the animal grows.
- The young are weaned at 7-8 months, and becomes sexually mature from 18 months of age onwards.
- The Sangai was believed to be almost extinct by 1950, but it was re-discovered in the Keibul Lamjao Park area by the environmentalist and photographer E P Gee.
- The maximum lifespan of Sangai in the wild is of around 10 years.