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This ‘celebrity’ red deer in Scotland was put down after tourists fed it croissants, snacks

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This ‘celebrity’ red deer in Scotland was put down after tourists fed it croissants, snacks

A male red deer (stag) that had become popular among hikers in the north-west Scottish Highlands has been put down by the authorities after developing health complications due to being fed by tourists. The stag, fondly called Callum, was euthanized by the National Trust for Scotland (NTS) after developing poor health, pain, and discomfort.

Celebrity red deer put down

“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,” an NTS spokesperson said.

Also read: This Scottish Island Is Up For Sale At Just Rs 26 Crore

This 'celebrity' red deer in Scotland was put down after tourists fed it croissants, snacks
NTS

How Callum became famous

Callum, who attained ‘celebrity’ status among locals and was described as a ‘local legend,’ was frequently seen on the hiking routes and was not apprehensive about getting closer to humans. In fact, Callum had become so accustomed to seeing tourists that he would regularly pose for their cameras. 

Eating human food

The red deer had also developed a liking for non-natural food, which was often hand-fed by the tourists. This included croissants, Rice Krispies, fruit, and cereal bars, which over time resulted in the red deer losing most of his teeth, leaving him unable to forage independently.

Also read: Reindeers in Finland sport glow-in-the-dark horns, and people are spooked

This 'celebrity' red deer in Scotland was put down after tourists fed it croissants, snacks
NTS

Don’t feed me

Things had gotten so out of control that the authorities had to put up posters with pictures of Callum reading, “Please do not feed me or get too close!” But this was too little, too late to save the poor animal whose condition continued to worsen, leading to him being put down.

This 'celebrity' red deer in Scotland was put down after tourists fed it croissants, snacks
NTS

Stop feeding animals

“Callum was a wild animal who became a bit of a local legend,” Highlands historian Andrew Grant McKenzie told the Ross-shire Journal. “Hopefully his life has highlighted the importance of respecting our natural world in the Highlands and not feeding the deer things which they wouldn’t be able to browse themselves naturally,” he added.

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