This is an unsurprising story for me because I visit Richmond Park almost daily. I often see dogs off the lead in the park in situations where they might harass or even attack a deer despite clear rules that they should be on leads when necessary. There is an argument that they should be on leads all the time because there are over 600 deer in the park.
In this instance, a red setter dog called Alfie belonging to a cosmetic executive, Franck Hiribarne, attacked one of the Queen’s deer leaving it with fatal wounds. A bicycle-mounted camera filmed the incident. Cyclist formed a human chain to try to protect the deer but the attacks by the dog were relentless as he continuously bit the deer while barking before passers-by lept in to help.
After the attack the escaping deer was hit by a car and it then limped off but was later found collapsed among the ferns in the park where it was put down by a ranger. Hiribarne was prosecuted before magistrates at Wimbledon last Friday. He said that he had been training his puppy in Richmond Park when it started to chase the deer. He had allowed Alfie to run loose despite the signs to visitors saying that this should not happen.
He said that his dog was not a dangerous dog. He lives in Kingston upon Thames and is a vice-president of Forma Brands, a business which supports beauty companies. He confessed that he was genuinely shocked and “sorry for what happened and since then I have refrained completely from letting Alfie off the leash in any part.”
Simon Richards, the manager of Richmond Park made a statement in which he said that, “The deer in Richmond Park are wild and unpredictable. The royal Park has signs that clearly state dogs must be on leads and kept under control at all times.”
This is the fourth deer to die over the past 12 months because of a dog in combining Bush and Richmond royal parks.
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