Four sambar deer – two males (with antlers) and two females – were caught in a rare sighting grazing on a grass patch next to Mandai Road on Sunday morning.
These deer are elusive because they are very shy and most active at dusk and at night. During the day, they rest in thick vegetation, making it difficult to spot them.
To top it off, it is estimated that there are fewer than 20 of them in Singapore.
Sambar deer (Rusa unicolor) are among the largest deer species in the world, after moose and elk.
They inhabit wooded habitats from dense rainforests to open deciduous forests and secondary forests. They eat a wide variety of vegetation including grass, leafy foliage, fruit, water plants, shrubs and trees.
The deer can be found in South-east Asia and India.
In Singapore, they roam the rainforests of the central catchment area, but some have been spotted as far south as the Bukit Brown cemetery.
They have also been spotted on the Mandai Wildlife Bridge, an animal-only overhead bridge near the Singapore Zoo to help animals cross between two patches of forest separated by a busy road.
Over the past 30 years, populations of sambar deer have declined by more than 50 per cent across South-east Asia, Borneo and Sumatra.
They are classified as a vulnerable species.