Oh Deer! Randy stags disrupt kid's soccer game and scare them witless
'Many of the children playing and the people watching were amazed -- stunned to see such an unusual sight,' photographer Giedrius Stakauskas said
In southwest London’s Teddington suburb, a soccer match for kids was interrupted rather abruptly by deer. Two stags reportedly invaded an under-10s football match at Bushy Park Sports Club in Teddington on October 9.
As per reports, stunned children were stopped in their tracks as the animals strutted towards them, with one animal leaping over a fence to get onto the pitch. It occurred during the peak of the rutting season. As per the Royal Parks website in the UK, Richmond and Bushy Parks are home to over 1,000 free-roaming red and fallow deer and during the rut, one may notice some behavioral and physical changes in the stags and bucks.
The website warns that during rutting season stags are flooded with testosterone and adrenaline, adding that “being hit by a stag traveling at full speed of up to 30mph is the equivalent of being mown down by a motorbike.” The website added, “Over the years there have been incidents where visitors have suffered injuries from rutting deer that may have been avoided. In 2018, a young girl who was being photographed next to a rutting stag was injured in Bushy Park, and the previous year a visitor was hospitalized after suffering injuries from a male deer in Richmond Park.”
On October 9, however, no one was injured. Reportedly, the deers wandered off into the trees after a few minutes and the children were able to continue playing. Nicki Hudson, 46, who filmed this incident while her son and his team Epsom and Ewell Colts squared off against the Teddington Dragons, said, “There were two deer on the pitch. I was chatting to some other parents on the side of the pitch and one of them called to me to show me the first deer which I started to film. I could also see the second deer which to begin with was behind a wooden fence and I didn't think it would jump it.”
“Then very soon after, over it jumped and was walking straight across the pitch as the boys were mid-match,” she said. “Us parents all stood still but the quick-thinking referee called the players over to all stand together to the left of the deer. The deer was clearly watching us all, so much so, one of the mothers turned away from the deer to avoid eye contact! Soon after, the deer trotted off and left the pitch.”
“Many of the children playing and the people watching were amazed -- stunned to see such an unusual sight,” photographer Giedrius Stakauskas told reporters. The 45-year-old Bromley resident captured the moment one of the male red deer -- the largest species in the UK with a maximum weight of nearly 500 pounds -- leaped a fence and ran onto the pitch.
According to Stakauskas, the deers caused some of the children to scream and run away. Both teams were reportedly forced to pause the game for around ten minutes as the animals wandered the field, before strutting off into the trees, allowing them to resume play.