In a rare attack, a deer has gored a hunter to death after he cornered the animal.
62-year-old Regis Lavasseur was hunting in France’s Compiegne forest, which lies about 50 miles north-east of Paris, when he came across the animal.
Acting as a beater – a hunter who helps to flush out and corner prey – the unarmed Lavasseur was struck by the deer, who decided to charge at him rather than flee.
According to The Local, police said the man ‘was charged and pierced by a deer which stabbed him with his antlers’.
He died from his injuries, which resulted in severe internal bleeding, before the emergency services could arrive.
Lavasseur was due to get married within the next couple of months.
Guy Harlé, president of the local hunters’ federation also spoke to The Local about the incident, saying:
For him, hunting was more than a hobby, it was his life.
Normally the animal would flee, but this time he decided to charge. It came after him.
The antlers of the stag are like many knives piercing you, there is nothing you can do.
This tragic accident reminds us we do not play with a wild animal. There is an inherent risk with hunting.
This incident comes only a week after a group of French hunters caused an outcry after shooting dead a tired stag at close range.
The hunters tracked the deer to the garden of a private house which lay on the edge of the Compiegne forest.
After shooting the exhausted animal, the group fed the carcass to their dogs in the town of Lacroix-Saint-Ouen.
Distressing footage of the shooting prompted France’s environment minister, Nicolas Hulot, to criticise hunting with hounds as ‘a practice from another century’.
Local animal rights activists have also been campaigning for hunting to be banned and the hunter who shot the deer, was subjected to death threats.
Harlé told The Local he believes the fatal goring of Levasseur was karma for the mistakes made by his fellow hunters:
Here we have the painful illustration of the danger that a wild animal can represent.
What would have happened at Lacroix-Saint-Ouen if the stag had charged around the neighbourhood? This should serve as a lesson.
Last year in France, 18 people were killed in hunting accidents, which the French national hunting office insist is a result of people not respecting the rules of the hunt.
Earlier this year, there were several other tragic accidents in the country which involved the hunters accidentally shooting each other.
In a hunt in western France, a grandfather shot dead his own grandson by mistake and only last month, a woman was killed after a bullet from a hunter passed through the hedge in her garden.
In recent years walkers, mushroom pickers and even motorists have been killed by accident because of stray bullets.