Warning as 'normally friendly' deer gores photographer in attack at Glencoe

A photographer who stopped to take pictures of a ‘normally-friendly’ deer at a Scottish beauty spot is warning others to be on their guard after she was gored by the animal’s antlers in an attack.

The victim, who did not wish to be named, pulled into the car park at the Kingshouse Hotel near Glencoe on Friday afternoon where a friendly deer often appears to pose for pictures and eat from the hands of passers-by.

The deer that congregate close to the hotel in the glen have long been a popular draw for tourists and visitors.

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However, the photographer backed off when the deer became unusually aggressive before the animal charged at her with his head down, leaving a nasty mark on her ribs.

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Now the woman is warning others against getting too close or feeding wild deer, having seen the danger herself.

She said: “I’m a keen amateur photographer and have photographed these deer many times before. Last year there were dozens of them in the driveway to the hotel, and the one big one in the car park – he’s always there. This year he was the only one in site and there were signs asking people not to feed the deer, which I have not seen before.

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“I got out the car to photograph him – he was about six feet from the car. He bent his head down, slightly threateningly, so I backed up a foot or so, then he suddenly put his head down and charged, catching me on my side, knocking me back, but not off my feet.

"It was totally out of the blue. I’ve never seen the deer do this at all as they are renowned for being so tame here. Seconds after he charged me he was eating a carrot from someone else’s car window. If he had had a longer run up than six feet, I would have been in trouble.”

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The deer is normally quite friendly and has been known to approach humans.

The photographer says she feels lucky the injury isn’t worse, but is concerned others, particularly children, could be in danger without realising.

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She said: "I’ve been remarkably lucky. He hasn’t broken my skin, but there are clear gore marks – I am going to be pretty bruised and my entire side is aching.

“The height he hit me at was at a child’s eyeline. I actually warned off other families approaching me as it was pretty scary how quickly he suddenly charged with no warning.”

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The deer rutting season, or breeding season, takes place in Scotland from the end of September to November.

Moments after the attack, the deer was back to being friendly.
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Warnings have previously been issued, telling tourists not to feed the deer, and there have been similar reports in the past of deer charging at passers-by.

The Scottish SPCA has previously issued a warning to members of the public not to feed the stags as they can be unpredictable.

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The Kingshouse Hotel website urges visitors not to give the animals food by hand.

The site states: “Our neighbours are a curious and hungry bunch. But we send a polite reminder that the deer are wild animals, not tame pets. We recommend that photographs be taken from a distance.

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The photographer was left with a mark, but believes she got off lucky.

"Please don't feed the deer – it's bad for their tummies. Remember stags can rut and charge with little notice.”

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