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Deer park stag removed after injuring hind

The stag with his hinds. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

Park safety on agenda

ELI HILL
[email protected]

Masterton Deer Park’s resident red deer stag was retired from duty on Monday after injuring one of his female companions.

The stag’s downfall began on Saturday morning when people passing the park reported a hind had been injured.

The Wairarapa branch of the New Zealand Deer Stalkers Association who manage the park were quick to the scene and removed the injured hind from the pen.

Unfortunately, she later had to be euthanised because of her injuries.

Branch president Martin Amos explained that during the roar red deer stags become very aggressive in nature and are protective of their hinds.

“This is normal stag behaviour – both in captivity and in the wild.

“This particular stag is very territorial as he was born in the park and has occasionally injured herd mates in the past.”

Amos said the stag had been “taken out of the park” at 9.30am yesterday, with police providing a cordon.

“The park contains both red and fallow deer which are very quiet,” Amos said. “All will eat from your hand when offered suitable food such as fruit, vegetables and bread.

“It is during the mating season that males become territorial and potentially aggressive for a couple of months.”

There are no stags in the park as all the hinds have been inseminated by the departee, but the branch plans to introduce a young spiker [young stag] in due course.

As a result of the injury Amos said the branch committee will be discussing the health and safety of the animals in the park and the public at their next meeting.

“The park is very popular particularly with families and the branch is keen for it to continue.

“While there are warning signs in place. I would like to remind visitors to keep back from the fence, closely monitor children and dogs and please do not aggravate the stag [when it arrives].”

Amos thanked the public for their concern and for notifying the branch of the injury.

He also acknowledged the role of Ray Wallis who feeds the herd every morning and monitors the park for the branch.

The stag which has been removed was the same one who escaped from the park 12 months ago when vandals cut the pen fence. A huge effort by public, branch members, police and Amalgamated Helicopters had it returned.

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