The largest wild animal in Britain may have been killed by a foreign hunter lured to the UK after a bounty was placed on its magnificent head and impressive antlers, it was claimed today.
The majestic nine-foot tall stag, dubbed the ‘Emperor of Exmoor’, was shot and killed by marksmen just outside Exmoor country park.
Witnesses reported hearing two shots from a high velocity rifle before seeing the stag’s crumpled body lying near Rackenford, north Devon.
A thorough search just a short time later found traces of blood where the might stag had fallen, but the carcass had been removed.
Today it emerged that foreign huntsmen – probably European trophy hunters – may have felled The Emperor after a bounty was literally placed on his head.
The 12-year-old red deer – which weighed 300lbs – was thought to have been gunned down as a ”trophy” with its head and magnificent antlers worth at least £2,000.
A local farmer, who asked not to be named, said: ”There has been a price on his head for years – with figures stretching to around £1,250.
”No one knows who killed it, but rumours have been circulating around here that the hunter came from abroad, probably Europe.”
John Norris, from the Tiverton Staghounds group, based near to the reported killing site of Rackenford, feared the stag’s notoriety may have been the main incentive for the hunter.
He said: ”We used to have another big stag around here called Bruno. But like The Emperor – his name got about and then he was killed.
”People came here during the shooting season looking for him in particular – and the same may have happened to the Emperor.”
The internet is full of websites offering huntsmen from around the world prime hunting and stalking in the UK.
Sites are legal and are littered with photographs of marksmen posing with their kill.
Professional groups offer hunting packages – ranging from around £140 to £200-a-day – to kill Red Deer across England.
Landowners use the gun-toting hunters to legally cull the deer and keep numbers down to protect crops.
The website ‘Field and Forest’ boasts it has access to the ”best stalking that the UK has to offer”.
Alongside pictures of bloodied stag’s bodies, it proudly proclaims: ”We pride ourselves on quality hunting and stalking having hunted many world destinations for over 20 years.”
Another called ‘Uk Deer Management’ offers hunters two ‘outings’ at a cost of £140 – with rifle hire from just £25.
Meanwhile outraged animal lovers took to the internet to express their dismay over the death of the Exmoor Emperor.
A Facebook page dedicated to the animal said simply: “The Exmoor Emperor (is) dead, who ever killed him is scum”.
One group member, Karen Perfit, wrote: ”It’s totally disgusting that this fine wild animal has been slaughtered.
”Even during the mating season he was not left alone.
”Killed so he can be placed on some snooty rich toff’s wall – he should be ashamed on himself.”
I think the people who get such a thrill out of killing an innocent creature have to have something missing in their genes – absolutely horrible
We need new laws to protect things we love i would like to meet the marksman he would meet his match
Curse that horrible excuse for a human, may he be given no reward for his crime an an appropriate end to his own life.
i do wonder what went through the killers mind and soul as he watched this most beautiful creature slump to the ground…my heart is saddened that is was done in the name of a trophy.
What would be going through my mind would be, ” Alot of good meat.”
I created the facebook page (please join it) and i was totally shocked when i heard the news. rotten bastard!!! pure scum!!!
I am trying to find this, please guide me to this page. Thanks
Who killed the Emperor ? Somebody is hiding the body,shame on you and all this for money.
You may find the tourests also fall in the end you will gain nothing.
this wonderfull animals ghost will live on despite you.May you have many sleepless nights.
I hope whoever killed this magnificent animal rots in hell!
surely there must b a bounty on the toffs head
I’ll gladly collect the bounty given half a chance. no regrets. but i’m sure ‘Hern’ will take his revenge on these small minded fools who kill his creatures for fun.
another hard hunter!!! wud luv 2 meet u !!!
Deer managment is about keeping there numbers to a sustainable level for the wellfare of that animal.It just happened to be the emperor’s time.happy hunting
shocking response, I am sure we where never overrun with deer when hunters where non-existant, nature takes care of itself and doesn’t need human intervension. We are the scurge of the earth because people like you genuinely belief killing is necessary.
Gonna join your facebook page right now, this cowardly fat bastard should have a price on his rich slimey head, and if the reports are correct then it looks like some tough foreign “hit man” has taken OUR largest wild animal at roam on these isle’s with practically satellite help, time for the ConDems to stop taxing us ordinary folk and stop the obscenely rich from not only destroying our little part of the globe but the planet in it whole beauty. Time surely for us to stop bleating and either put up or lets start doing something about all the crap thats being allowed to go on if you are rich enough.
I just don`t know, what is wrong with you people, it is quite normal anywhere in the europe, to take care of the deers, protect them, support them with the food supply in winter, but eventually hunt for them. It is just natural thing, collecting the “fruit” of hunters effort by shooting the deer. And it isn`t that easy to track and shoot the deer, you know? It is a hard work indeed, so the trophy is just adequate satisfaction and reward.
whats wrong with these people? you are scum. Hunting with rifles and the like is not natural and their is no honour in shooting animals, its for small minded boys to feel like men. Disgusting.
well, call me a scum, if it maeks you happier, but I am a professional forester and hunter as well, with appropriate education, and trust me, I`m not supporting mass shooting of the animals, but hunting for a deer within the limits? I can`t see anything wrong with that. And that hunting with rifles is not natural? Would it make you feel better, if it was hunted down by the guy with bow and arrows, chasing deer for hours and couple arrows sticking out of deer? NO. In my personal opinion, You are upset, just because it was a “animal celebrity” .
Just an “animal celebrity”!!! What are you talking about? It is completely wrong to hunt and kill animals for entertainment. There is no excuse for this act of butchery ! It had nothing to do with animal management or conservation, it was just a small minded excuse for a man after a quick thrill.
100 people, 100 opinions…
The hunters must be named and shamed, how dare they kill such a fine beast. Who do they think they are, what gives them the right.
I work on an estate with 200 Fallow Deer. In order that the herd does not grow too large for the protected habitat they live in they are annually culled. I don’t like it but I accept it.
This morning I was moved to tears when I heard of the wanton destruction of this magnificent stag. He was only recently featured in the media, bringing him the kind of attention that has proved his undoing. Killed by a coward who can excercise power over such a beautiful animal only with high velocity bullets. Not a victory at all, but a shameful act. Don’t hide behind excuses like culling, Exmoor could have supported this beautiful animal and others like him, someone could just not bear to see such beauty running free.
I WOULD PAY GOOD MONEY TO SEE THIS BASTARDS HEAD NAILED TO A PLANK…….AND I AM NOT TOO SQUEAMISH TO DO THE JOB MYSELF…..NEMESIS
Totally wicked, absolutely disgusting, the hunter’s mentality seriously concerns me; he is sick in the head. He has now deprived visitors the chance to see the beautiful animal in it’s natural environment. How dare he? I wish I had a gun!
I think somone will eventually out this arsehole who killed such a wonderful animal! Then the animal rights will go hunting them!!! What goes around comes around..bad karma….
I am sickened that some one has shot dead the beautiful stag which had lived so freely for so long in the wilds of Exmoor. I will never be able to comprehend the mental state of a person who would be able to shoot such a magnificient beast for money, trophies or so called glory.
I live on Exmoor and love the natural beauty of the moors and its natural wild life inhabitat….the sad heartless human being who fired the gun and got his so called prize disgust me!
How sad. I hope the killers of this stag, die a very very nasty death.
What a vile digusting person he must be to shoot a lovely animal like that, I just wish somebody would turn the gun on him and maybe shoot his feet so he never walks again. I hope he never gets any luck in his life and hope he dies of shame.