In the south-west London suburb of Teddington, a children’s football match was interrupted quite abruptly by deer. Two deer are said to have invaded an Under-10 football game at Bushy Park Sports Club in Teddington on October 9.
Stunned children were reportedly stopped in their tracks as animals strutted towards them, with one animal jumping over a fence to enter the grounds. It happened at the height of the rutting season. According to the royal parks website in the UK, Richmond and Bushy parks are home to over 1000 free-range deer and fallow deer and during the rut, behavioral and physical changes can be seen in both deer and males.
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The website warns that during rutting season, deer are inundated with testosterone and adrenaline, adding that “being hit by a deer traveling at full speed up to 30 mph is the same as being mowed down by a motorcycle.” The website added: âOver the years there have been incidents where visitors have suffered injuries from rutting deer that could have been avoided. In 2018, a young girl pictured next to a rutting deer was injured in Bushy Park, and the previous year a visitor was hospitalized after being injured by a buck deer in Richmond Park.
On October 9, however, no one was injured. Apparently the deer got lost in the trees after a few minutes and the children were able to continue playing. Nicki Hudson, 46, who filmed the incident as her son and his team Epsom and Ewell Colts took on the Teddington Dragons, noted, âThere were two deer on the ground. I was chatting with other parents on the side of the field and one of them called me to show me the first deer I started to film. I could also see the second deer which at the beginning was behind a wooden fence and I didn’t think he would jump on it.
“Then very soon after he jumped up and was crossing the field when the boys were halfway through the game,” she said. âWe parents all stood still, but the quick-witted referee called on the players to all stand together to the left of the stag. The deer was watching us all, so much so that one of the mothers turned away from the deer to avoid eye contact! Shortly after, the deer started trotting and left the field.
âA lot of the children playing and people watching were in awe – amazed to see such an unusual sight,â said photographer Giedrius Stakauskas. Recount journalists. The 45-year-old Bromley resident captured the moment one of the male red deer – the UK’s largest species with a maximum weight of almost 500 pounds – jumped over a fence and ran over the ground.
According to Stakauskas, the deer caused some of the children to scream and run away. Both teams were reportedly forced to suspend play for about ten minutes as the animals roamed the field, before strutting through the trees, allowing them to resume play.