Vampire Deer Aren't a Halloween Fairy Tale. They're Very Real

Posted by Christy Caplan

Water deer are also known as "vampire deer" and are native to Korea and China. Similarly, Siberian musk deer are native to Russia, yet this species is suffering due to poaching in across parts of southern Russia and Mongolia. It has something to do with their very real, and kind of scary, teeth.

Their front teeth are often referred to as fangs or tusks, but they're really just extra-long canines. These fangs are the real deal!

Are vampire deer real?

These deer are not photoshopped. They're a genuine species living in Asia.

Are vampire deer carnivores?

According to Ark in Space, water deer don't use their tusks for any sort of carnivorous behavior. Instead, they're used as a defense mechanism, in particular when meeting other males.

"When this happens, the bucks approach each other and then walk in parallel for a while, checking out the strength and prowess of their opponent. If neither is overawed by the physical impression given by the other than they will fight - and in this species, that happens a lot."

Why do vampire deer have fangs?

These canine teeth are just for show as they're actually harmless herbivores. These Chinese water deer are also called "Krampus's sidekick" in tales told by families where they live. Would you be afraid if you ran across one?

Here are some fun facts about this species of fanged deer:

  • The fangs are used to demonstrate aggression. Similar to males with larger antlers.
  • These teeth can be thrust out and (male deer) the buck will also pull his teeth closer together by drawing in his lower lip making him resemble a vampire.
  • The Chinese water deer eat veggies.
  • The water deer is listed as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). They are on the black market. Poaching is a large issue.
  • Musk deer also have fangs.

Have you ever found a baby fawn? Please leave a comment below. 

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Vampire Deer Aren't a Halloween Fairy Tale. They're Very Real