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Monday, October 3, 2011

Pick on someone your own size! Stag leaps into river after turning on SWAN

By Daily Mail Reporter

This is the dramatic moment an unsuspecting swan is attacked by a stag in extraordinary scenes along a quiet London riverbed.

As the tranquil swan gently moved along a stream through Bushy Park, in Richmond, either side of the water two male stags were preparing to clash.

It is the second attack by rutting stags in a matter of days in the park after a woman was chased and left 'badly shaken' as she watched a mating ritual.

Minding his own business: This unsuspecting swan was gliding along on a stream through Bushy Park when it got caught in the middle of two rutting stags

Amazingly in this latest stag attack the swan managed to make a miraculous escape ducking out of the way, with just moments to spare, as the two stags crashed into each other with full force.

Both extraordinary scenes were captured by keen photographer Robert Piper, 55.

Speaking about the swan incident, he said: 'That area of the park was very busy at the time - there were families picnicking on the banks of the stream just a few yards away.

'The two stags were on either side of the stream bellowing and gesturing at each other with mock charges.

'The loud bellowing noises attracted even more onlookers but the poor swan seemed completely unaware of what was happening.

Beauty and the beast: The rutting stag advances on the swan in Bushy Park -onlookers were stunned at the extraordinary scenes

Innocent victim: The swan was scooped up by the stag, in scenes captured by photographer Robert Piper, and driven over to the other side of the bank

Lucky escape: The swan just manages to fly away from the rutting stags, who desperately want to lock horns

Escape route: The swan dives under the water as the stag looks on, amazingly neither creature was injured

'Suddenly the more aggressive stag on the right bank leapt into the water, and charged with it's full might driving the swan to the other bank.

'The stag on the left bank then charged but somehow the swan managed to escape at the last second as both stags locked horns in the water.

'It was an incredible moment and the swan was definitely left a bit shaken up. I don't think it will be back there anytime soon.

'Soon after, both stags retreated into the bracken and disappeared.'

On September 23 a woman was chased as she watched three stags compete with each other during a mating ritual.

Speaking about the woman's escape from the stag, Mr Piper said: 'The stag really went for her and knocked her over. She got to her feet and he charged a second time, but she managed to get behind a tree where she hid, but the stag would not move. She could not get away.”

Giving chase: The scene in Bushy Park on September 23 as a stag chases a woman, getting close enough to lift her jacket with its horns

Mr Piper said the woman finally managed to escape after he distracted the animal’s attention by shouting and waving his arms.

He added: 'She was really, really, shaken up. She was lucky she wasn’t badly hurt and was able to walk away — it could have been a lot worse.'

The unidentified woman is just one of three recent victims of stag attacks in Richmond, after a young girl and a man in his fifties ended up in hospital.

London’s Royal Parks last week issued a warning about the dangers of rutting stags following the separate attacks.

In one case a young girl was taken to hospital with head, wrist and chest injuries after being gored by a stag in Bushy Park, Richmond.

The man in his fifties was also taken to hospital after being attacked in the same park.

A spokeswoman for the Royal Parks, which maintains Bushy Park where there are currently 320 red and fallow deer, said: 'We are aware of the incidents and are investigating the circumstances.

'It’s important to remind park visitors that deer are wild animals and must be treated with caution. It’s dangerous to approach the deer at any time of year, but especially between September and November, when the males are rutting.

'Signs throughout the park warn that caution is necessary.'



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