Warning to Scots tourists to respect wildlife after celebrity Scots stag's death

Callum the stag at Benn Eighe car park in Torridon, Scottish Highlands.
-Credit: (Image: Andrew Grant McKenzie SWNS.)

Tourists and Scots have been urged to leave wildlife alone when visiting the Scottish countryside. The Scottish Countryside Alliance issued a warning following the death of a 'celebrity stag' in the Highlands.

The animal - named Callum and described as a "local legend" - passed away due to health problems it developed by being fed food by visitors.

Jake Swindells, Director of the Scottish Countryside Alliance said: "If you are lucky enough to be able to encounter our beautiful wildlife at close quarters, remember that wildlife means exactly that.

"Enjoy the experience but it is vital that human intervention should not become commonplace. The results can be incredibly dangerous, not only to animals but humans too.

Callum was described as a "local legend".
Callum was described as a "local legend". -Credit:SWNS

"In this case, a Red Deer Stag became reliant on food supplied by visitors to the area, and the cost of this was the expedited rotting of the deer's teeth after being continually fed sugary foods."

He added that had "reduced the animal's ability to eat properly and leaving it to deteriorate in condition. Visitors must be familiar with the countryside code, or at least use some common sense when encountering wildlife."

We told yesterday how Callum was commonly given 'treats' by passers by when he was spotted in the Beinn Eighe car park in Torridon.

It's thought that Callum struggled to forage for food for himself in the winter months as the wrong type of foods led to his teeth deteriorating.

The National Trust for Scotland said Callum had to be put down due to his severe health issues, after consulting with veterinary experts.

A spokesperson said: "We are saddened to say that following expert vet advice, Callum the stag, who was often found in the car park at Torridon, has had to be humanely put down.

Callum the stag was commonly spotted in the Beinn Eighe car park in Torridon.
Callum the stag was commonly spotted in the Beinn Eighe car park in Torridon. -Credit:SWNS

"We know that many in the community, and visitors too, will be sorry to hear this. As a conservation charity, we take our responsibilities for animal welfare seriously and the advice was that this was the kindest option."

Highland Historian Andrew Grant McKenzie said: "Sad news that Callum will no longer be at the Beinn Eighe car park. I have no doubt the advice from the vet was for welfare reasons and Callum's condition had deteriorated.

"The issue of people feeding wildlife is one that comes up regularly across the Highlands and Callum's popularity should serve as a way of communicating the message that we must be careful with our interaction with the natural world.

"There is no doubt Callum had a good long life for a stag. Hopefully the herd in Torridon which was developed, managed and researched meticulously by Lea MacNally, a great expert in his field, will continue to be strong."

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