July 22, 2024

A stag that became famous among hikers in Scotland for feeding from their hands has been put down due to tourists giving the animal too many sweet and fatty snacks

The National Trust of Scotland (NTS) told local media that Callum the stag was humanely euthanised earlier this month because he became sick and suffered pain.

The red deer became a hit on social media for posing with hikers and tourists in the Highlands region of Scotland.

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But his fame also led to Callum’s sad demise. Local residents say too many visitors were ready to offer croissants, Rice Krispies and fruit.

They caused Callum’s teeth to rot and the animal was unable to forage for food.

Signs along the North Coast 500 walking route, close to where the stag roamed, displayed a photo of Callum and the warning: “Please do not feed me or get too close”.

But it was ignored, and the local community has been left angry.

HIghlands historian Andrew Grant McKenzie, told the Ross-shire Journal that Callum as a “local legend”.

He also criticised visitors for feeding wild animals foods they couldn’t “browse themselves naturally”.

“It was clear that he was being fed by visitors for some time and had become reliant on that food source.”

A spokesperson for NTS said: “We are saddened to say that following expert vet advice, Callum the stag, who was often found in the car park at Torridon, has had to be humanely put down.

“We know that many in the community, and visitors too, will be sorry to hear this. As a conservation charity, we take our responsibilities for animal welfare seriously and the advice was that this was the kindest option.”

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