Just past Halloween, scientists have discovered a real life vampire-like deer in the wilds of Afghanistan.
The Kashmir musk deer, equipped with sharp fangs, was spotted in northeastern Afghanistan more than 60 years after its last confirmed spotting in 1948. A team from the Wildlife Conservation Society tracked the animal down and recorded seeing three different members of the species.
The fangs are not used for sucking the lifeblood out of locals, but rather for jousting with other males during rutting season and attracting females.
Little is known about the Kashmir musk deer, as they live in the remote mountains of northern India and Pakistan and northern Afghanistan, and while they are listed as a threatened species, experts can only guess how many still live in the wild. The animals are frequently targeted by poachers, as the musk from the males’ scent glands can be sold for thousands of dollars per kilogram.
The musk deer’s environment is also in jeopardy from increased logging. While it may appear like a mythical monster, it seems the musk deer has more to fear from humans.
Scientists have vowed to evaluate the musk deer population further and return once security conditions improve. They’re training locals on its conservation in the meantime. Hopefully, they’ve armed them with an arsenal of garlic and crucifixes, just in case.