Nottingham

Wollaton Park deer selfie warning ignored by visitors

Crowds around deer taking photos Image copyright Mark Taylor
Image caption There are signs around Wollaton Park warning visitors not to get too close

A photo of a crowd of selfie-hungry tourists gathered around two stags at a deer park has prompted a warning.

Every summer crowds descend upon Wollaton Park, Nottingham, which is known for its antlered stags.

Mark Taylor, who lives nearby, recently snapped a photo of crowds of people armed with smartphones gathered around two of the animals.

Authorities have repeatedly warned people the animals can be dangerous, particularly as rutting season begins.

Mr Taylor said he regularly saw people trying to take photos with the animals, particularly during the summer holidays.

He claimed he even saw someone try to put a baby on a deer's back during one visit.

"It's crazy. It's not a petting zoo. The more people realise that they are wild animals, the better," he said.

As the summer ends, the stags' antlers lose their soft velvet to reveal "a set of hard and very pointy weaponry" which they fight each other with, a Wollaton Park spokesman said.

"We assume you wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of them," he said.

Image copyright Wollaton Hall
Image caption About 80 red deer and 120 fallow deer roam freely around the park

Charles Smith-Jones, of the British Deer Society, said although they are more used to visitors, park deer are not tame.

He added: "During the rut [around October], the stags and bucks have sharp and dangerous antlers and are likely to demonstrate aggressive behaviour.

"Rutting stags, in particular, are often pumped up with testosterone, and you could be putting yourself at risk."

Image copyright Ted Shillitto/KNSNews
Image caption Visitors were also warned back in 2017

In 2017, a woman was gored in a deer park in Richmond, London, after taking a video of deer.

Yuan Li, who suffered thigh injuries, said she thought she was going to die.

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