A SCOTS wildlife park has launched a plea to find their missing stag after “someone cut through” the enclosure fencing.
Kevin Campbell, park manager at the Auchingarrich Wildlife Centre in Comrie, Perth and Kinross was left horrified on Wednesday morning upon discovering that half of the deer had disappeared.
Kevin claims that he came across several holes cut into the fencing, offering about half of the animals the chance to escape from their enclosure – including their prize stag Harris.
Staff have so far managed to locate several of the 47 deer that disappeared but have pleaded for “urgent help” to find Harris, who is still missing after seemingly fleeing from the rest of the deer.
Taking to social media yesterday the park wrote: “Urgent help needed. Someone cut through the fence in the deer field and let all the deer out.
“Harris, our beautiful stag, is also missing. He didn’t remain with the hinds, and we don’t know where he has gone.
“We are so worried about him. He was hand reared and so is very tame and will come up to you if called.
“If anyone sees him, please could you let us know and we will come and collect him immediately. He is very distinctive with his large antlers.
“I cannot imagine who would cut through a wire deer fence at a wildlife park, but we have notified the police.
“We are working to get the fence repaired now and to try and install some better security to prevent this ever happening again.”
The post received over 1,900 likes, and more than 530 comments from shocked locals left baffled by the bizarre vandalism.
Nicole Richardson wrote: “Has someone taken him, or has he gone a wander after the fence was cut? I really hope he is found safe and well. He is a beautiful boy.”
Deely Andherdugs said: “That’s a bit sinister. Just in time for the wealthy to bag a 15 pointer – hope not.
“Used to happen at Dalchonzie many moons ago, the mink and foxes didn’t stray too far from their feeding places bar the occasional mink that took to the rive with fish farms either side.”
Susan Fairley commented: “What is wrong with some people? They’ve put them all in danger, letting them out. Hope you find him and they’re all safe soon.”
Susan Fairgrieve added: “Who the hell would do that? I hope you manage to somehow get them all home safe.”
Speaking to Kevin today, he said: “On Monday, I went up to feed the deer and could see that there were no issues at all. I didn’t see Harris but during the [mating] season they tend not to come out.
“I didn’t think anything of it and on Tuesday, again, I went out to feed the deer in the morning and there was only about half of them.
“I walked the enclosure to see if I could spot them but couldn’t find any. I then walked the perimeter and found that a hole had been cut.
“So, [on Wednesday], again, I walked around the fence to see if we can find any evidence and there were four or five holes and the remaining female who got out the enclosure.
“We saw them all yesterday and I’ve managed to retrieve 11 of them back into the enclosure. A few remain outside and are friendly enough but this time, they are very skittish.
“The ones that are still out are still there. It’s very unusual for Harris to leave the hareem of females – especially during the rutting season.
“It was a concern that they were no longer with them. There are stags in the area that are half the size of Harris, so there shouldn’t be any reason for them to battle him for females.
“So, I was a bit concerned when Harris was no longer in any view shot and we couldn’t hear him, so that makes me very concerned.”
In an update last night, the centre posted that Harris may have been spotted in a nearby area.
They wrote in the post: “Tim from Missing Pets, Perth and Kinross Scotland has shared a 360 view of the area for search purposes tomorrow.
“He thinks he has seen Harris. He has sent co-ordinates, and we will focus our search there tomorrow.
“We have had another sighting of a stag with some hinds down by the Ross. It would be likely that Harris will remain with the girls in his herd.
“This is such great news. We have started fundraising to install the new surveillance and fencing as suggested. All donations greatly appreciated.”
A fundraiser has now been set up to help the centre raise money for improved surveillance.
To donate you can visit this link: https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-find-harris