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Thursday, 1 August, 2002, 15:18 GMT 16:18 UK
'Oh deer... Bambi's eating my garden'
Deer
Mr Ripley's garden culprit turned out to be a wild stag
A man who thought his city garden was being attacked by vandals discovered the culprit was a wild deer.

For the past three months, the streetwise stag has trampled over Allen Ripley's geraniums and destroyed his prize flower beds.

At first the 60-year-old, of Knowle in Bristol, thought the animal looked rather sweet, but now he is at the end of his tether and says the stag must go.

The retired distribution manager had cultivated neatly defined flower beds around his 120ft lawn and was distraught to find them attacked by, what he thought were vandals.


This is a wild animal that has chosen this as a place to live.

RSPCA Spokesman

He launched a vigil to catch the culprits and just days later was amazed to spot the stag.

He told BBC News Online: "He's been here for about three months now.

"We noticed him eating kidney beans and roses and the lobelia and then the roses and the dahlias went, so it's made itself quite at home.

"At first it was a bit nervous of people but then it got used to us - it wanders up and down the disused railway bank at the backs of our houses and then comes in and out of our garden.

Grandchildren pleased

"A neighbour spoke to a deer keeper who said hopefully it would disappear when the rutting season arrives.

"I even nicknamed him Bambi because he is such a sweet-looking thing and the grandchildren were always pleased to see him."

Mr Ripley tried contacting the RSPCA but they were unable to help.

A spokesman for the animal charity said: "I can understand the frustration but this is a wild animal that has chosen this as a place to live.

"We would not get involved unless it was sick or injured or it was a danger to itself or other people."


Click here to go to Bristol
See also:

03 Sep 01 | UK
09 Dec 00 | Scotland
17 Sep 99 | Sheffield 99
01 Jul 99 | Science/Nature
29 Nov 97 | Background
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