Northern Ireland

Belfast: Stag on loose shot dead by police

stag lying on greenway Image copyright Ben Rainey
Image caption After first trying to contain the stag it was shot because it posed a danger to motorists

A wild stag which was running loose in east Belfast has been shot dead by police.

The incident happened on Tuesday morning on the Comber Greenway.

Police said the animal had "narrowly missed" a number of motorists. They tried to contain the stag but it was not possible.

Insp Eastwood said the animal was in an "extremely agitated and dangerous state".

'Running wild'

He added that it was shot dead because it was "running wild in a densely populated area and posed a danger to motorists".

Eighteen year old Ben Rainey lives nearby. He told BBC News NI he heard four shots at about 03:00 GMT.

"There were sirens and you might think it could be a serious crime," he said.

"But I woke up this morning and found there was a dead deer on the Comber Greenway."

September to November is rutting season for stags. During that period, which is also known as "the rut", red stags and fallow bucks compete for females.

They can be dangerous if approached by humans at this time.

Last week a seven-year-old girl was gored by a stag in Bushy Park in south-west London.

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