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Today, I took the Bows deer hunting.

Okay, not really. But my curiosity was piqued when I read a headline this morning about an “Exotic Muntjac deer loose, in danger” at one of the local dog parks that we frequent.

A Reeves’ Muntjac deer is believed to be on the loose and in danger in [local dog park].

Animal experts are calling on the community to keep an eye out for the animal, which is tiny and easy prey for larger animals, including dogs, and to call in sightings as the deer needs to be trapped and taken care of. […]

[Local wildlife specialist group] Wildcare believes the deer was let loose in the park by its owner. Keeping Muntjac deer as pets is illegal in California. If an animal services organization is able to find the animal it will likely be offered to a zoo or taken out of state to a warmer climate.

However, the multiple reported sightings could have been mistaken. “It is possible that a dog was mistaken for the miniature deer,” the report was later updated.

It made me think of the way that Basenjis are sometimes compared to small deer or gazelles, especially when they’re curled up sitting upright, or when they’re running.

For example, here’s a Muntjac.

Photo copied and reprinted from Berkeleyside, originally by Mark Denovich (http://www.flickr.com/photos/denovich/3401527263/)

And here’s Bowpi at the park in question.

20 April 2011

Well, maybe the comparison is still a little iffy.

Nobody tried to throw a blanket over Bowpi’s head and turn her over to a wildlife reserve. We were also unsuccessful in our attempt to see anything unusual. Phooey. I might not have wanted to turn him over if we had managed to bag the munchkin deer.

Maybe he will emerge next time, if he is indeed out there…