Deer attacks dog walker who runs for his life after leaving pet off leash in park
A dog walker had to flee for his life when a deer charged him after leaving his pet off leash in a royal park.
Images shared on Twitter today show the deer chasing the man and his dog around Bushy Park in Richmond, west London.
Dogs are allowed in the Green Space, which is one of the Eight Royal Parks and can be found just north of Hampton Court.
But owners are required to keep dogs on a leash in all parts of the park as it is currently deer birth season.
Simon Richards, Richmond Park Director, said: “During deer calving season, we strongly recommend that you do not walk dogs in Richmond or Bushy parks, but if this is not possible dogs should be kept on a leash in all areas of the park.
“Female deer are afraid that dogs will harm their young.
“Concern for their newborn means they can act defensively towards dogs – they are known to chase and attack, even if the dog is at a distance and not acting provocatively.”
The birth season runs from May to July and around 300 deer will be born in the Royal Parks during this time.
Baby deer are hidden by their mothers in ferns and tall grass to protect them from dogs.
Mr Richards added that dog owners should “stay alert”, avoid areas of heavy vegetation and stick to the park’s outer ring.
They can also avoid deer by staying away from areas on the park map shaded in orange.
Since August 2020, there have been at least 55 cases of dogs chasing deer in parks.
At least five deer have died as a result of these lawsuits over the past year.
A number of owners have gone to court for failing to keep their dogs under control.
Mr Richards urged park visitors to leave space for female deer and not to pick up baby deer if they see them alone “under any circumstances.”
He said: “Even if you think you are doing the right thing, you will actually only cause a lot of stress for the newborn baby and unfortunately you could make his mother give up on him.”
People on Twitter criticized the dog’s owner for leaving his pet off leash.
One of them wrote: “These hooves are razor sharp, not to mention the weight of the beast.
“I have lots of pictures of people feeding and stroking deer and dogs being attacked.
“This video is a good illustration of what can happen.”