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'Stop feeding deer' warning to public; Issue at Bradgate Park highlighted.

Byline: SAM DIMMER

PEOPLE are feeding the deer at Bradgate Park sandwiches and crisps despite being warned not to.

The stunning weather has led to more people heading to the popular Leicestershire beauty spot, and a handful of younger deer have been taking advantage.

What might seem cute to visitors, though, could pose a real danger both to them and the animals.

Now, a ranger at the park is warning people to steer clear of the animals if they approach them.

Matthew Molesdale, deputy head ranger at the park, urged members of the public to stop feeding the animals and shoo them away if they come too close.

"Sometimes some of the deer get too tame," he said. "They lose that fear of humans.

"As a result of that they approach them and end up getting fed.

"Young children have fed the deer and they're just not aware how much power a fallow buck has.

"It wouldn't take much for someone to be knocked over and hurt.

"I've seen them feeding the deer bread, sandwiches and even crisps." Mr Molesdale said this is not down to the heatwave leading to a shortage of food at the park, because they're supplementing what the deer have with silage.

He also said this is an annual problem with a handful of deer and visitors, and it's something they're keen to nip in the bud.

"If they pick up the habit they can carry on," he said. "They can pick up wrappers and swallow plastic.

"If that happens it can get wrapped up inside the deer.

"We've had deer that have ended up killed.

"If the deer do get too close we would expect the visitor to clap or shoo them away.

"We don't want people to chase the deer because we don't want them directed towards lots of people."

On Twitter, one park visitor this week said she saw people ignoring the signs and feeding the deer.

She wrote: "It then created mayhem as he decided to help himself to bags and wasn't shooed away until I stepped in as he tried to eat a plastic bag."

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Deer frolic in the morning sun at Bradgate Park. (Joe Giddens/PA Wire)

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Publication:Loughborough Echo (Loughborough, England)
Date:Aug 8, 2018
Words:369
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