VIDEO: Angry deer chase away Richmond Park walkers
A dog owner is filming people running for their lives to warn people of the dangers of deer in parks.
Jack Birrell walks his Hungarian vizsla dog Jazz in Richmond Park twice a day for about four hours and after witnessing several people and dogs having near misses decided to capture deer in action.
He said: “I’ve heard of several dogs being injured and many, many more being chased this summer.
“I saw these people running for their lives. Minutes after each person had escaped, more walkers with dogs seemed to head in that direction quite oblivious of what was happening.
“One feels so helpless, as it’s impossible to warn them all.”
Mr Birrell, who lives in Richmond, said he had seen people trying to touch, chase or even feed the deer despite warnings from Royal Parks to never feed them, keep at least 50m away and avoid coming between two rutting stags or a mother and calf.
The retiree said he had also seen dogs chasing deer, despite Royal Parks’ advice to avoid walking during birthing and rutting seasons, which run from May to July and September to October.
Owners of dogs that chase wildlife in the parks, including deer, can face criminal prosecution.
The park authority said during these times the deer can be particularly protective and aggressive and even if dogs are far away and not being provoking the deer can feel threatened.
Mr Birrell said: “Why don’t people understand that deer are wild and unpredictable animals and should be allowed to have their own space and plenty of it.”
This year Royal Parks said it received reports of three incidents in Richmond Park where dogs sustained injuries, one of which was fatal.
The park authority said during the same period three deer had been killed by dogs.