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First “Vampire” Musk Deer Seen in Sixty Years!

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Earlier this week, researchers from the Wildlife Conservation Society working in Afghanistan confirmed sightings of the critically endangered Kashmir Musk Deer (Moschus cupreus) – the first positive observation in the wild since 1948!  The “Vampire” nickname refers to the fang-like tusks sported by males and used to spar with other males during mating.  Despite many animals being valued for their tusks, hunters target Kashmir Musk Deer for their distinct musk glands, a prized ingredient in cosmetics and certain traditional medications.  Their high localization to certain forests adds to their elusiveness.

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The musk deer Moschus moschiferus, captive male. Image credit: Nikolay Usik / CC BY-SA 3.0.

( A Male Kashmir Musk Deer displaying tusks. Image Credit: Nikolay Usik / CC BY-SA 3.0)

Scientist believe they viewed three distinct individuals including a grown female with a juvenile deer, and solitary male deer who was seen on three different occasions.

Read more about the “Vampire” Musk Deer and conservation efforts at Sci-News.

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Kristen E. Strubberg is the Editor-in-Chief for TGNR. Kristen founded TGNR in 2013 - seeking to create a high quality platform for original, eclectic and substantive positive news journalism by attracting expert contributors in many varying subjects. Kristen also works as a clinical medical researcher in Cardiology, with an original background in Neuroscience. Her passion for science has translated to her science-fiction specialization, with her highly adept published insights into the best of sci-fi’s popular culture. Kristen has served as TGNR’s Editor-in-Chief since 2013.

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