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Sunday, 29 September, 2002, 16:31 GMT 17:31 UK
Attack reindeer loses antlers
Reindeer
There are more than 100 animals at the centre
A reindeer which gored two hillwalkers has had its antlers removed by a vet.

One man was airlifted to hospital for treatment after the attacks in the Cairngorms on Saturday.

The animal responsible was a four-year-old male reindeer, known as a bull, which thought the walkers were a threat to the females in his group.


It's not a problem we have ever had before, but it is probably to do with the fact that it is the rutting season

Morna Grieg
Cairngorm Reindeer Centre
Staff at the Cairngorm Reindeer Centre, which is home to the only herds of the animals in the UK, said they were "shocked" by the incidents.

Herder Morna Grieg said the attacks had been "an unfortunate reaction" by the bull.

"It's not a problem we have ever had before, but it is probably to do with the fact that it is the rutting season," she said.

"I think what has happened is that the females have gone up to the people and he has seen them as a threat.

"There are 10 or so females in the group and that's quite a lot to keep under control."

Slightly injured

She added that a vet removed the antlers from the animal, which has been taken off the hill, on Sunday.

The Cairngorm Reindeer Centre manages a 140-strong herd across two sites in the Scottish Highlands.

The first incident took place on Saturday morning above the Coire Caes car park.

Reindeer
The reindeer was protecting its group
The bull charged and slightly injured a male walker before others in his group scared away the animal.

He was treated by a doctor in Aviemore for cuts to his shoulder and leg.

Later the same day John MacDonald, 46, from Inverness, was attacked while walking on Cnap Coire Na Spreiddhe with his brother.

He suffered a gash on his thigh after being charged by the bull.

Mr MacDonald was taken by RAF helicopter to Raigmore Hospital in Inverness, where he received treatment before being discharged.

See also:

28 Sep 02 | Scotland
18 Dec 01 | Scotland
24 Dec 00 | Europe
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