Reindeer in two-hour attack on woman, 57

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A HILL walker has told how she endured a two-hour reindeer attack in the Highlands.

Pat Cook, 57, from Renfrew, was walking alone in the Cromdale hills east of Grantown-on-Spey when she spotted a light-coloured deer in the distance. Shortly after she reached the summit of Carn a'Ghille Chearr, the reindeer reappeared and charged her, throwing her on to her back.

She said: "One of my walking poles was thrown into the air. The reindeer kept trying to stick its antlers into me, but I managed to brace my feet on them. I began bashing it over the head with my other walking pole. I couldn't believe what was happening, and I was aware that I was running out of strength.

"I was shouting for help but there was no-one there. I couldn't keep it at bay any longer and collapsed in a heap with my rucksack protecting my back.

"I grabbed the antlers to try and avoid getting stabbed and it started to bump me along the ground. Eventually, I fell and landed in a heap."

Ms Cook, who has climbed all 284 of Scotland's Munros, said any time she tried to stand up and make a run for it, the reindeer would bundle her back on to the ground.

She said: "If I didn't move and didn't shout or blow my whistle, it didn't touch me, but I knew I couldn't lie there in the snow all day."

Two hours after the initial attack, Ms Cook finally made her escape, distracting the reindeer by throwing items of her packed lunch in the opposite direction.

She was left with deep bruises on her arms, legs and head.

The animal is a two-year-old bull, part of the 130-strong Cairngorm Reindeer Herd (CRH). A spokeswoman from CRH said: "To prevent any other confrontations, the reindeer was taken down off the hill to our fenced area."

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