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Last Updated: Wednesday February 17 2010 16:28 GMT

Deer at risk of starvation

Wild red deer stags the biggest species of wild deer in Scotland cover the hills looking for food after snows near Aviemore

Thousands of deer in Scotland are at risk of starving to death because of this year's cold winter.

Deer mainly munch on grass and purple heather growing in the area.

But, because the weather's so cold food is buried under snow and ice - meaning the deer can't get to it and so huge numbers are dying of hunger.

Every year there's a cull of female red deer, but many estates stopped it for this season when they realised lots of deer were dying.

Walkers in Scotland are being advised not to go near herds of deer as if the animals run away they might use up what little energy they have left.

Wildlife experts are hoping the weather gets better in the coming months. They're worried that if there's a cold spring even more deer could be lost.