I've seen Muntjac deer before, but usually just the rear end rapidly disappearing into the undergrowth. They are quite dissimilar to other British deer, being small and stocky with tiny straight horns and little tusks – almost like a cross between a wild boar and what you might classically think of as a deer shape. They are also very wary and prefer to skulk through overgrown thickets. That's why I was quite surprised to see this one ambling slowly over a footbridge then casually grazing on the grass beside a path on the other side.

Usually I don't have time to pull out a camera before they're gone, so this was quite the golden opportunity. Unfortunately I only had a small compact camera with me, which has struggled to get a good image, but it's still the best I've ever managed.

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  1. I was walking along the Kennet Canal through an industrial estate last year. It was about 8am and mid summer and I couldn’t believe that up ahead on the towpath was a muntjac just standing there! As soon as he saw me he dashed off into a small area of scrub behind one of the warehouses. I assume he manages to live their successfully but a deer was the last thing I expected to see in that environment!

  2. Which I suppose just goes to show the value of even small pieces of tangled scrub. Maybe they roam over quite an area – I’m not sure.

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