"Uni" the Axis deer with one antler

I first saw Uni on May 26, 2006 in the central part of Makena State Park by the ranger's home. He had run up on a mound of bark chips in an effort to outdistance a couple of dogs that were chasing him. I noticed immediately that his right antler was dangling by the side of his head. It struck me that something was not exactly right but I didn't know what. Deer drop their antlers annually but I had always thought that when it dropped it just disconnected and fell to the ground. I was not aware of an antler being dragged about until it disconnected. But what did I know!  I had never seen one fall off.

I would not see Uni for a few days. On the following Tuesday I was standing in the Big Beach I parking lot just gazing into the wood lot. Not particularly looking for anything. I heard a noise to right in the trees and brush and looked over to see Uni coming directly toward me. Clearly he had only one antler. I was just starting to feel a bit uncomfortable with his approach when he turned off at about thirty feet and proceeded to disappear into the wood lot. I knew he was still in the area and very much alive. I also knew he had dropped the antler. One that I had been looking for since I had first seen him. I had looked very intently in the area immediately surrounding where I had first seen him. My expectation was that he could not carry the antler very far if it was in the process of dropping off and would be nearby.

The following day I was photographing abandoned cars within the state park. I had photographed one and was proceeding to the salt flat behind the beach where I knew another existed that I had decided to photograph. As I proceeded to the location I noticed something moving on the other end. It was Uni and again he was moving in my direction although quite a bit future away.

That's Uni to the left in the picture above. He proceeded to walk up and around and then sit under the tree trunk in the right foreground.

At first all I could see was one antler sticking up. It was moving back and forth as Uni flicked his head about and moved his ears.

Assuming that he could not see me I moved closer taking photos as I went. Eventually Uni must of sensed that I was nearby and looked over the log. Since I was standing as motionless as I could he did not see me for some time resulting in the following photos,

Finally Uni could not take it anymore. He knew I was there but could not really discern me. So he hopped up to a standing position for a better look.

Note how the right ear is lower than the left. Also note the depression in the top of his head. More about that later as the adventures of Uni the
Axis deer with one antler continues at www.DrLeisure.com/makenaunideer1.html.

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