The Irish public have been warned not to attempt to take selfies with wild deer in places such as Phoenix Park.
The DSPCA issued the warning as the mating season begins as male deer’s aggression levels soar.
A trend of people trying to get as close as possible to the deer to take selfies with them has emerged in recent times.
However, as the aggression levels of male stags increases, this becomes a very dangerous and stupid activity.
Gillian Bird, of the Dublin Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, said that deer are more visible to the public during this part of the year as they come down from the mountains to mate.
Stags do battle with their antlers to win the rights to mate with the females in what can be extremely violent encounters.
If a stag felt threatened or irritated by the presence of a human getting too close and chose to attack, then the injuries suffered could be devastating.
Bird said: “Some people attempt to see who can get closest to the deer.”
However, as well as the potential danger to the humans, Ms Bird said, “we’re more worried about the deer”.
People have been seen offering the animals food as a way of getting near to them. Foods such as carrots and apples can become lodged in the deer’s throats, and other foods such as bread and sweets are not suitable for them.
There is also the risk that the deer begin to associate people with food, and snatch plastic bags from their hands.
One unpleasant occurrence is that the deer can snatch plastic bags containing dog mess from pet owners, and inadvertently eat the contents, which can be fatal for the animals.
Ms Bird concluded: “People should leave wildlife alone.”
Here is a video taken of two stags fighting in Phoenix Park, which demonstrates the levels of power and aggression they can show.
Keep your distance from the Deer this time of year? Earlier today in the Phoenix Park! pic.twitter.com/v9opBWFJra
— Tara Morgan (@TazMoMedia) October 22, 2018
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