A dog owner has been charged over the death of a deer in a Royal Park after it was attacked by an Irish setter.
The red deer’s injuries were so bad it had to be put down following the attack in Richmond Park, south-west London, at the beginning of this month.
It was the second deer to die after being attacked by a dog in the park since the beginning of September.
Royal Parks Police praised “brave” cyclists who attempted to chase the dog away from the deer.
A Royal Parks Police spokesman said: "On October 1 in Richmond Park an Irish Setter chased and attacked a Red Deer.
“Despite brave efforts of passing cyclists to chase the dog away, the deer had to be destroyed.
“A 44-year-old man from Kingston-on-Thames has been charged under the Park Regulations.
“It is an offence to allow any animal of which you are in charge, to chase, worry or injury any other animal within the Royal Parks."
The man is due to appear at Wimbledon Magistrates Court in January.
According to the Friends of Richmond Park website, two to three deer are killed every year by dogs.
A 68-year-old was charged in September after his dog attacked a young deer in the park.
In a tweet at the time, Royal Parks Police said: “We would like to remind all dog owners to keep their dogs under control or on a lead. Young deer like to hide in the long grass, so you may not see them until it’s too late. #Stay50mAway.”
PC Iian Rae said: “This young deer was hidden amongst the long grass when the dog came across it, just because you cannot see any deer around, it doesn’t mean they are not there,” according to Richmond Nub News.
PS Pete Sturgess said: “If a dog attacks any deer whilst in Richmond or Bushy Park, we will look to prosecute the owners.
“If you cannot keep your dog under control, then please use a lead.”
According to the Royal Parks website, dogs are welcome in all parks, but there are some places where you must keep them on leads, indicated by signs.
“When walking your dog in the Royal Parks please respect the wildlife as well as the other park users by keeping your dog under control,” it says.
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