Photo: Rob Ward.
White stag killed in the Forest
Nature photographer, Rob Ward, reflects on the life of the White Stag reported killed in the Forest of Dean.
Following the widely-reported news that a white stag on the Devon and Cornwall border had been poached, thoughts turned to the equivalent animals in the Forest of Dean.
Well, the concerns have become a reality.
It has been reported that a white deer in the Forest of Dean was knocked down by a motorist, before having his head cut off.
Robin Ward has been photographing wildlife in the Forest for many years, with only a few glimpses of the white stag to speak of...but those experiences have been unforgettable.
Sadly, from now on he'll be wondering when, and if, he'll ever be fortunate enough to see a similar beast again.
Glimpse of a ghost
Reflecting on the horrifying news, Rob says:
"We walk the trails. We sit and wait, for hours. In the daylight, darkness and snow, waiting anticipating, hoping for a glimpse of a ghost.
"It could be weeks, months or even years waiting for the ghost to appear, but when he did, it felt like it had been moments.
"All the years I have spent walking our Forest, clutching my camera, there was always one thought in the back of my mind and that was hoping for a chance encounter with the White Buck.
"I had been lucky enough to see him a few years ago and photograph him, but there was also another thought in the back of my mind.
Our white giant
"For years, I had been waiting to hear the news that he had been hit by a car or injured during the rut and killed, but to find out that "Trophy Hunters" had got their hands dirty on OUR White giant horrified me.
"To a lot of us, the Forest of Dean and it's wildlife play a big part in our lives and losing an Icon like the White Buck is like losing part of our heritage.
"He was OURS and he was here to stay.
"I will still walk the trails, I will still sit and wait, in the daylight, darkness and snow, but if I see him now, he truly will be a ghost.
"RIP fella, you will not be forgotten."
last updated: 08/10/2008 at 10:44
Have Your Say
Share your thoughts on the loss of the White Stag here. How do you think the wildlife in Gloucestershire can be best protected?
vegetarian animal lover
Shaun Moore- Community Reporter
J A; Scotland
Nikki Moore, Pigsty Studio