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Angry French locals save stag chased into private garden by hunters and dogs

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Angry French locals save stag chased into private garden by hunters and dogs
Hounds crowd around a deer they felled in a hunt in France. Photo: AFP
16:38 CET+01:00
A stag was saved at the last moment by angry locals who confronted a team of hunters and their dogs after the injured and bloodied beast was chased into a private garden in a village north of Paris.

The stag ran into the garden in Bonneuil-en-Valois on Tuesday and was quickly surrounded by the dogs who were ready to bring it down and kill it as is the tradition in stag hunting with hounds in France.

A video posted by a local woman on Facebook shows the terrified animal, which had already been injured in the chase and whose tongue was covered in blood, standing in the corner of a garden with no way out as the yelping dogs got ready to attack.

But local residents quickly came out of their houses and confronted the hunters, informing them that hunting was banned within the perimeter of the village and telling them that they must withdraw their dogs.

“It was tense,” one resident told Le Parisien newspaper. “There must have been about thirty of us. The hunters were insulted and called all sorts of names. The owner (of the garden) wouldn't let them onto his property.”

The heated exchange lasted for about two hours before the hunters finally conceded and left the village. The stag was eventually able to leave safely.

The standoff came just two months after there was an outcry in France after hunters and their hounds tracked a stag to the garden of a private house - in a village in the same region as Bonneuil-en-Valois - before shooting it at close range.

Such incidents have led French animal rights groups to step up their calls for hunting with hounds to be banned in France.

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