Chinese water deer (Hydropotes inermis inermis) at the Whipsnade Zoo. Chinese water deer are indigenous to the lower reaches of the Yangtze River, coastal Jiangsu province (Yancheng Coastal Wetlands), and islands of Zhejiang of east-central China, and in Korea.... They inhabit the land alongside rivers.... They are also seen on mountains, swamps, grasslands, and even open cultivated fields. Water deer are proficient swimmers, and can swim several miles to reach remote river islands.