Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Stop crowding around rutting deer, photographers are warned

Park wardens say deer populations could compromised as mating encounters are cut short by over-enthusiastic amateur snappers

8:20AM GMT 05 Nov 2015

The annual, testosterone-fuelled display put on by competing deer during the rutting season is certainly something to behold.

But park wardens have warned that the crowds of amateur photographs jostling to capture the perfect image of stags locking antlers with male rivals before mating could put the population at risk.

Adam Curtis, the park's assistant manager, warned that the number of red and fallow deer in the park could be compromised if people do not keep their distance.

"I have seen 60 photographers circling a stag trying to mate," he told The Times.

"That would even put me off."

He expressed concern that stags may become too exhausted to mate because visitors cause the females to scatter, meaning that they are forced to expend more energy trying to entice them back.

"They end up not being able to mate during the day, and have to do it at night instead," Mr Curtis added.

"We are not seeing a reduction of birth numbers yet, but it is especially stressful for stags losing their harem when crowds scatter them, and being forced to run around to get them all back into the fold."

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