Why is venison never cheap? Well…it’s always deer!
The old ones are the best…the joke seems to have put a smile on this muntjac deer’s face, although she wouldn’t be so pleased with herself if she knew what we had for our Sunday roast. Female Reeves’s muntjac, Muntiacus reevesi, ambling along a rough hewn field on the fen edge village of Cottenham a few miles north of Cambridge.
Muntjacs, also known as barking deer and Mastreani deer, are members of the genus Muntiacus. Evolutionarily speaking, they are the oldest known deer having emerged some 15–35 million years ago, remains have been found in Miocene deposits in France, Germany, and Poland. The present-day species are native to South Asia but a large feral population exists in England. It was once claimed that the muntjac in England were all descended from escapees from the Woburn Abbey estate, Bedfordshire, in the mid-1920s, but it’s more likely that the population has its origin at Whipsnade Zoo.