Physical feature: This large and graceful deer stands 44 to 46 inches high at the
shoulder. The mature male weighs 200-260 kg. and the female may weigh 135-140
kg. The coat colour is generally brown with yellowish shades below. During hot
season, stags become reddish brown and the females turn yellowish brown like
sambar. A dark brown band bordered by white spots runs down the length of
spine. Fawns are spotted with white. Manes are present on the neck of the male.
The tarai race has characteristic broad flat and splayed-out hooves that help in
moving over swampy land. The central race has solid and pointed hooves. Antlers
begin to grow shortly before or at the beginning of rains and usually have 10-14
points, though 12 points are common (hence called barasingha). The antlers of
fully adult animals are having the characteristics of main beam sweeping upward
for over half of the length before branching repeatedly in the distal third. Antlers
are shed between February and March.
Behaviour: They are highly gregarious animals and graze till late in the morning and again in the evening in the wild. The sense of smell is excellent. On being alarms, swamp deer will dash off with a loud chorus. They are less nocturnal than sambar. Barasingha visits a water hole soon after daylight and in the late afternoon during summer months. A prominent behaviour is ear-waving that displays during the hot season. The majority of animals roam with an area of about four square miles for seven to eight months of the year.
Life span: The life span is twenty years or more.