Please don’t read if you’re an animal lover. This one doesn’t have a happy ending.
I ran on saturday morning and planned at least a 10 miler so I set off eastwards along the cliffs to Nash Point, I dropped down onto the beach there and noticed a lot of blood on the rocks – Then I spotted a full grown stag among the rocks with a bleeding mouth. Ok not the usual sight on a beach. I called a friend to contact the RSPCA for me as I was in and out of phone service.
I figured if I could get it up off the rocks and onto the grass above it would at least be safe from the tide. Sadly as I approached it it leapt up and scrambled up the short edge of the cliff itself – but on two broken front legs. It had clearly fallen off the cliff during the night. It was so sad to see but it made it to the grassy bank above and lay down. At least it was off the rocks.
In a bit of a dilemma now I decided to wait for the RSPCA – who never came – apparently too busy. I waited there with it for an hour and a half until the police and fire service came (not sure who called them but i was grateful as I was getting hypothermic by then in shorts and tshirt). I spent the time keeping warm by keeping people away from it. Even after explaining it was badly injured and going close would force it to move on broken legs they still wanted to see. I virtually forced people to take the other path around it, in fact I would have quite happily chucked some of them off the cliff.
The police asked me what condition it was in and the only honest one I could give was “fucked” and it was, it would have to be shot but by now there were people around and a busload of kids probably doing the Duke of Edinburgh. Shooting deer in sight of them wasnt the greatest idea and so he called a vet to cover himself – probably the right thing to do.
In the end I left them there before I really did get hypothermia, I couldnt do anymore for the poor creature and so I said goodbye to Cedric (I dunno why I named it – I talked to it across the valley for a while) and ran off home. I’m sure Cedric wouldnt have survived much longer and I hope his suffering ended soon after.
This is a long range shot of him. You dont want to see a closeup