26 October 2010

RIP Exmoor Emperor: Britain's largest wild animal shot dead

A giant stag, thought to be the largest wild animal in Britain, is dead.

Nicknamed The Exmoor Emperor, the male red deer was gunned down, legally, by hunters 2 weeks ago reportedly for his antlers in Exmoor, Devon.

The Emperor was 9ft tall to the tip of his antlers and believed to have weighed 300 lbs. His death was kept quiet due to concern over the furor it would cause, but the news began filtering out yesterday.

The 12 year old stag was killed legally by hunters who paid for shooting rights. Because of his size and antlers, the stag was reportedly a prized target, and will most likely end up stuffed on someone’s wall.
However the animal was beloved in England and his death has animal lovers outraged.

"Whoever has got the trophy is going to keep pretty quiet about it, because it has stirred the most awful furor," said Peter Donnelly, a deer management expert in the Exmoor area

Douglas Batchelor, the chief executive of the League Against Cruel Sports, said: "The levels to which some people will sink in terms of cruelty for entertainment never cease to amaze. The selfishness the person who shot this beautiful creature has shown to the public is reprehensible.”

Robin Lawless | @robmlaw
Robin lives in NYC with her cat Maggie where she follows a vegetarian lifestyle, practices yoga, and volunteers at Catskill Animal Sanctuary. Follow Robin on Facebook

Photo credit: cc: flickr.com/photos/isherlock