According to the Marshall News Messenger a 67 year old man, Gerald Rushton was killed by his pet European red stag deer. While feeding the animal he was attacked by the buck and was stomped and gored by it. This was all witnessed by his granddaughter who immediately ran to get Mrs. Rushton who then called 911 for help. When officers arrived they shot and killed the European red stag in order to get to Mr. Rushton. But Mr. Rushton was pronounced dead at the scene.
It’s being reported that Mr. Rushton kept several deer in pens on his property. He wanted to “domesticate” them. This particular buck was raised from a fawn by him. The European red stag, at the time of the incident, weighed approx. 550 pounds. When Rushton went into the pen to feed the buck, the buck penned him against the fence and gored and tromped him. Rushton could not get away from him.
To see a picture of a European red stag go here. It’s the beginning of rutting season for deer right now. Bucks become extremely aggressive during rut as their hormones are overriding everything else. Rutting season is when deer breed and it lasts a couple of months.
Male animals can become aggressive when breeding. Their hormones can override the closest of bonds with humans. Deer are not domestic animals. They are wild. But even domestic animals like bulls, rams, bucks (goat) and boars can turn on their owners in a heartbeat when its time to breed. Every year there are reports of farmers getting injured or killed by domestic farm animals. Most of the time the animal has never made an aggressive move against humans. It comes out of the blue and complacency by owners add to the threat.
It is always a huge risk bringing wild animals in to domesticate them. They run free and penning them can only add to the frustration of the wild animal. All animals need room to run. Penning in small pens not only is hard on the animal but also gives humans few options when trying to get away from an aggressive animal.
Mr. Rushton had been warned several times about penning exotic animals. Game Warden Chris Green said that Rushton had been cited for penning White Tail deer and had come into compliance. He stated that there are no regulations on the exotic deer. The Warden also stated that they had warned Rushton about how aggressive the deer could become during rutting season.
Marshall News Messenger