Stag fright! Family put their lives at risk by getting far too close to a rutting male deer at the height of breeding season
- A family got too close to the large red stag while it was looking to mate in Tatton Park in Cheshire
- The bellowing stag charged at the family of five but luckily stopped as they escaped with their lives
- The family’s near-miss was captured by amateur wildlife photographer Steve Clare, 58, in the deer park
This is the moment a rutting stag charged at a young family after they got too close when posing for photos.
In these worrying pictures a woman and a young girl can be seen first putting their lives at risk when approaching a large bellowing red male deer.
The family appeared unaware of the risk posed by Britain’s largest wild land animal but that danger became apparent as the group trying to take photographs were suddenly charged by the stag armed with his huge antlers.
October is the breeding season for deer when testosterone-fuelled stags fight other males for mating partners.
The stag charged the family after they got too close to the deer as it was bellowing in the hope of attracting females to mate
Mature male red deer can weigh up to 200kg and when in rut they carry vicious pointed antlers up to just under a metre in length.
Luckily all escaped unharmed, but amateur wildlife photographer Steve Clare hopes his images taken in Tatton Park, Cheshire, on Sunday serve as a warning to others.
Warehouse operative Steve, 58, said the group involved in this incident were very fortunate the stag didn’t carry on its charge.
He said: ‘This could have been very nasty had the stag kept charging. I think the whole group was in danger.
The family were trying to take photos with the deer in Tatton Park, Cheshire and their near-miss was captured by amateur wildlife photographer Steve Clare
The stag stopped its charge before it hit the family but Steve said they could have lost their lives if the rutting deer had continued
‘I hope these pictures will serve a purpose and make people realise the danger any wild animal poses and prevent an injury or even death.
‘About 15 minutes later the same stag did charge someone else that got too close, just after me telling them what I had just witnessed.’
Steve said he had been to Tatton Park to photograph the deer rut which he has been doing for the past two years. Knowing the correct way to approach these magnificent animals he set up his camera around 100 yards from the action.
He said: ‘I noticed a big stag that was with a big herd of females and a couple more stags in the distance so I decided to set my camera and tripod up at a safe way away.
‘The stag that was with the herd was prancing around a lot and strutting his stuff and bellowing as he attempted to mate with the does.
The large red stag was testosterone-fuelled as October marks the peak of breeding season for the large animals which populate several parks in Britain
‘Other stags were bellowing nearby and then one of them came over to try and muscle in on the herd but he was soon chased away. As all this was going on and a few groups of people that looked like families started to gather.
‘An adult woman and child were standing close to the stag posing for photos and I shouted over to them and waved my arms telling them to move away.
‘Even when the stag bellowed they didn’t move.
‘Then the stag moved away a few feet and all the adults and kids grouped together and this is when I focused my camera on the deer.
‘As I did so he charged the whole group, it’s a miracle no one was injured.
‘Most of the reaction since I’ve had to posting the images has been how stupid it is to get so close to the stag.’