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Last Updated: Tuesday, 19 October, 2004, 14:18 GMT 15:18 UK
Deer farmer killed in stag attack
Deer at the farm
The farmer failed to return from a deer pen
A farmer has been gored to death by a stag in North Yorkshire.

Clifford Colling died at Moor Farm at Hunmanby Gap, near Filey after going to an enclosure where his deer were being kept during the rutting season.

Two concerned colleagues who went to look for him were also attacked by a stag. One of them suffered head, leg and arm injuries.

They found the 73-year-old's body after returning in a vehicle. The stag was shot dead by a police marksman.

Paramedics called

A North Yorkshire Police spokesman said: "Paramedics were called, but the man was pronounced dead at the scene.

"There were no suspicious circumstances and it appears he had been attacked by the stag."

The injured man was taken to Scarborough General Hospital for treatment, following the incident on Monday.

The coroner has been informed and a post-mortem examination is due to be carried out on Wednesday, police said.

Mr Colling, from Filey, owned the deer herd at the farm, but did not live on the site, a spokeswoman said.

Known risks

Hugh Rose, of the British Deer Society, said attacks on humans were quite common and farmers were aware of the dangers.

He said: "It happens every year. Farmers are well aware of the risks of entering an enclosure during the rutting season.

"The stags stop eating and their testosterone levels shoot through the roof.

"They become very frustrated and very aggressive and take it out on trees and bushes, anything that's in their way.

"The problem is that for the rest of the year, the stags are big gormless lumps you can stroke on the head and feed carrots to.

"Then they transform into these mad animals, foaming at the mouth, who are trying to kill each other.

"I think perhaps farmers forget their docile friends can turn on them too.

"They are extremely unreliable and dangerous animals."

Mr Rose reminded farmers that they should only enter deer enclosures in a vehicle during the breeding season, which runs from the end of September to late October.




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