Tourists blamed for death of 'legendary' stag after it was fed Rice Krispies and croissants

24 June 2024, 16:30

Callum the stag was "humanely euthanised".
Callum the stag was "humanely euthanised". Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

Tourists have been blamed for the death of a "legendary" stag after it was fed Rice Krispies and croissants.

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Callum the stag was regularly seen around Torridon’s Beinn Eighe car park in the Highlands.

He was known to approach tourists for food, with videos shared online showing him being fed Rice Krispies and croissants.

Due to visitors giving him the wrong foods, he lost his teeth and was unable to forage.

The stag was humanely put down as a result of his ill health, the National Trust for Scotland confirmed.

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Highlands historian Andrew Grant McKenzie said Callum was a “local legend” and had "a good, long life".

However, he said it served as a reminder that tourists should not feed wild animals things they could not “browse themselves naturally”.

"Sad news that Callum will no longer be at the Beinn Eighe car park, but I have no doubt the advice from the vet was for welfare reasons and Callum’s condition had deteriorated in recent years," Mr McKenzie said.

“The issue of people feeding wildlife is one that comes up regularly across the Highlands and Callum’s popularity should serve as a way of communicating the message that we must be careful with our interaction with the natural world."

Callum lived in Torridon in the Scottish Highlands.
Callum lived in Torridon in the Scottish Highlands. Picture: Alamy

A National Trust for Scotland spokesman 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.

“The expert vet assessment found that Callum was suffering pain and discomfort as a result of poor body condition, poor coat condition and arthritis.”

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