UK woman attacked by deer after attempting to feed animal during rutting season, photo shows

Some outlets report she was trying to get a selfie when the incident occurred

This might be a little too close for comfort.

A woman was attacked by a deer at London's Richmond Park on Sunday after she approached and tried to feed the animal during rutting season.

National news and tabloid outlets had further reported that the woman was allegedly attempting to take a selfie with the deer when the incident occurred.

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News of the incident was first shared to Twitter by Royal Parks Police, who shared a photo of a woman in a blue summer dress, standing in a field with a deer directly behind, appearing to push her. The tweet has since been removed, though screenshots have since been shared on social media.

“This picture taken on 11th October in [Richmond Park] demonstrates why you need to [stay 50 meters away]," reads the original tweet from Royal Parks Police. "They are wild animals and can cause you injury." The post also included a hashtag reading “We are not Bambi,” referring to the wild nature of the deer.

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Simon Richards, the park manager for Richmond Park, has confirmed to Fox News that the woman was jumped on after she got "far too close."

"We were informed by eyewitnesses that prior to the incident she was feeding the deer. We understand that the woman was not seriously injured and we sincerely hope she is OK," Richards wrote in a statement shared with Fox News. 

“This incident serves as a powerful warning that deer are wild and unpredictable animals and a minimum 50-meter distance must be adhered to at all times. This is especially important as we are in the middle of rutting reason, when male deer are flooded with testosterone and adrenaline," he added. “It’s also important to stress that deer do not require feeding from the public. Both Richmond and Bushy Parks provide ample natural food for deer that is suited to their nutritional needs. By feeding deer you are doing them more harm then good, and putting yourself in unnecessary danger at the same time.”

The woman in the photo, meanwhile, was reportedly ridiculed online for getting close to the animal.

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On Instagram, the Royal Parks (which oversees Richards Park) issued a similar warning to visitors, stating that “during the deer rut in Bushy and Richmond parks, a stag will weigh upwards of 25 stone (350 pounds) and have sharp antlers. Being hit by a stag traveling full speed of up to 30 mph is the equivalent of being mown down by a motorbike."

The Instagram post also featured a photo of a separate woman appearing to get too close to a deer for a photo.

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Guests are always advised to keep a distance from wild animals, but park officials are reminding guests to be extra cautious during the rut, or mating season.

“Over the years there have been incidents where visitors have suffered injuries from rutting deer that may have been avoided. In 2018, a young girl who was being photographed next to a rutting stag was injured in Bushy Park, and the previous year a visitor was hospitalized after suffering injuries from a male deer in Richmond Park. All incidents almost exclusively happen when people get closer than the recommended 50 meters,” the website for the parks reads.

Richmond and Bushy parks are home to more than 1,000 free-roaming deer.

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