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Bawean Deer, Indonesia’s Agile yet Endangered Pride


Have you ever heard of Bawean Island? This small beautiful island is located approximately 120 kilometers away from the downtown of Gresik, East Java. Anyhow, what makes this island special is Bawean deer!

Bawean deer, as known as Axis kuhlii, are the habitat in Bawean Island. They are Indonesia’s endemic animals which are protected under national and international conventions, such as the Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

The Bawean deer are now a part of one of the Asian Games 2018 mascots. The Bawean deer mascot is called Atung, which symbolizes speed in the context of sports. Apart from Atung, the upcoming sporting event also has Bhin Bhin and Ika, which respectively are a bird of paradise from eastern Indonesia and a one-horned rhinoceros from western Indonesia.

Bawean Deer, Indonesia’s Agile yet Endangered Pride
Image source: Shutterstock

At a glance, the Bawean deer look like muntjacs. Only, the former has a larger body. The deer have a body length of about 140 centimeters with a shoulder height of 65 to 70 centimeters and weighs at about 65 kilograms.

Bawean deer have canine teeth on their lower jaw while the fur is short and mostly brown, except on the neck part.
Unfortunately, these cute deer are listed as critically endangered animals.

They do have a high life and adaptability, but their stress level is similarly high. If they feel stressed, they will have a short lifespan. In addition, despite being protected by law, the Bawean deer still become a target of hunters.

Bawean Deer, Indonesia’s Agile yet Endangered Pride
Image source: Shutterstock

According to local officials, the number of Bawean deer remains in dozens. Although it seems very few, the number actually has increased from only less than twelve – thanks to a breeding center in the island.   

In response to the animal’s declining number, the 4-hectare center was built on the island in 2003 to breed the Bawean deer. Despite being in a breeding center, the deer are considered wild. Thus, visitors are not allowed to give food to the deer without permission from the center’s manager.

Besides deer, Bawean Island is famous for its stunning natural beauty. One of them is Tanjung Gaang. This place is a cluster of rocks standing in the middle of the sea. The water surrounding the rocks is very clear and blue. You can enjoy the beauty of Tanjung Gaang by sailing around the rocks using a fishing boat you can rent from the local people.


Image Source of Header Banner: Shutterstock

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