Singapore markets open in 4 hours 33 minutes
  • Straits Times Index

    3,378.29
    -15.92 (-0.47%)
     
  • S&P 500

    4,019.00
    -51.56 (-1.27%)
     
  • Dow

    33,711.40
    -266.68 (-0.78%)
     
  • Nasdaq

    11,401.24
    -220.47 (-1.90%)
     
  • BTC-USD

    22,741.82
    -1,059.86 (-4.45%)
     
  • CMC Crypto 200

    513.82
    -24.05 (-4.47%)
     
  • FTSE 100

    7,784.87
    +19.72 (+0.25%)
     
  • Gold

    1,938.40
    -7.20 (-0.37%)
     
  • Crude Oil

    77.75
    -1.93 (-2.42%)
     
  • 10-Yr Bond

    3.5510
    +0.0330 (+0.94%)
     
  • Nikkei

    27,433.40
    +50.84 (+0.19%)
     
  • Hang Seng

    22,069.73
    -619.17 (-2.73%)
     
  • FTSE Bursa Malaysia

    1,499.39
    +1.84 (+0.12%)
     
  • Jakarta Composite Index

    6,872.48
    -26.50 (-0.38%)
     
  • PSE Index

    6,970.97
    -81.19 (-1.15%)
     

Stags cornering villagers in their homes near West End mogul's estate

Deer - PETER JOLLY NORTHPIX
Deer - PETER JOLLY NORTHPIX

Sir Cameron Mackintosh has stepped up a deer cull on his Highlands estates after it emerged scared residents in a nearby town were "cornered" by stags.

The West End theatre impresario's 14,000-acre Nevis Estates has brought in a team of stalkers, with wildlife agency NatureScot ordering a cull to reduce deer numbers.

The development emerged after residents in Mallaig complained at the end of last year of being targeted by rampant stags.

There were around 300 deer on the estate and locals have estimated that up to 40 were regularly roaming around the town.

Minutes from Mallaig's community council's November meeting said: "We are now in the rutting season and several incidents have been reported over the past few weeks where certain stags have approached people in the village that were quite dangerous/scary.

"People couldn't enter their own buildings and stags followed and cornered people (this is most likely the case when you get in between hinds and a stag)."

Deer - PETER JOLLY NORTHPIX
Deer - PETER JOLLY NORTHPIX

Last month's meeting asked members to send in pictures of the stags as the council continued discussions with NatureScot and the estate "in order to address the issue".

Andrew Aitchison, factor for Sir Cameron's estates, said on Monday that 11 hinds had been shot in the past 10 days and a team of stalkers had been brought in to deal with the problems.

But he warned they were "wild animals and are difficult to deal with", and four troublesome stags had proved especially difficult to track down.

He said: "The problems with deer in villages is not an isolated problem in the Highlands. We are doing everything possible and are in regular weekly discussions with NatureScot and the community council."

Mallaig - PETER JOLLY NORTHPIX
Mallaig - PETER JOLLY NORTHPIX

Mr Aitchison said there were also safety issues to consider over carrying out culling when the deer enter the village, but it did have permissions for night and out of season shooting.

In a statement, the community council said:  "After discussions with the estate and with NatureScot, it was decided by NatureScot that the situation was potentially dangerous enough to warrant urgent action, and a special licence was issued for out of season and night-time shooting.

"The estate has acted quickly, and has managed the work as discreetly as possible over the last few weeks, and about half of the deer have been killed by its experienced team. Mallaig Community Council would like to thank the estate and NatureScot for taking this action."

But resident Michelle Macdonald said: "l have lived here all of my life and seen them all that time, at no time have l ever felt they were in fact a problem, threatening or dangerous, personally l think this is an absolute disgrace."

Sir Cameron owes his fortune to the spectacular success of musicals such as Les Misérables, Cats, The Phantom of the Opera and Miss Saigon.

He was just six when he first set foot in Mallaig on a family holiday and "fell in love with the area". Sir Cameron said Mallaig "for all its remoteness, is a very special place and there is no place like it".