Two friends have spoken of their anger after seeing a deer with a Sainsbury’s plastic bag wrapped around its head in Richmond Park.
Community support worker Angie Steers was walking with a friend and their dog Hattie along Queens Road near Pembroke Lodge on February 23 when the distressed deer jumped out from the undergrowth with a bright orange carrier bag caught around its antlers.
The deer’s vision was compromised by the bag causing it to scamper into nearby fallen trees and bump into low-lying branches.
The walkers were particularly fearful for the deer’s safety when it careered towards the road.
Remember to take your rubbish home with you. pic.twitter.com/Y8BlQnCfmP— Maria (@LCFinvestor) February 25, 2020
The friends tried to phone The Royal Park’s telephone number, but it went straight to voicemail. The park’s shop was also closed as it is currently being refurbished.
The deer was later seen heading towards Pen Ponds.
Mrs Steers, from Reigate, Surrey, said: “People who litter think the magic fairy is going to come and pick it up.
“It’s sad how our horrible modern world affects innocent animals.”
Her friend added: “I was angry. The deer could have injured itself due to people’s carelessness.
“I urge people that visit Richmond Park to behave respectfully towards the wildlife. The park’s inhabitants are animals. We’re only guests.”
Volunteers from The Friends of Richmond Park, a charity dedicated to the conservation and protection of Richmond Park, were out litter collecting on the day of the incident.
Despite the best efforts of The Royal Parks and The Friends of Richmond Park, littering still has a major impact on the park’s wildlife.
Simon Richards, the park manager for Richmond Park, The Royal Parks, said: “This is an important reminder of the impact of people dropping litter.
“This buck wasn’t harmed in this case and the plastic bag pulled away from its antlers, but other animals continue to suffer from littering.
“Littering in our parks is a big problem and we’re often left with mountains of rubbish to clear, especially after a busy weekend.
“Our parks provide beautiful natural spaces, but we ask visitors to stop, think and protect the wildlife they are there to enjoy – and leave nothing behind.”
A spokesperson for Sainsbury’s said: “We got in touch with The Royal Parks as soon as this was brought to our attention.
“We’re pleased to hear that the buck was not harmed and our stores will continue to encourage customers to recycle and reuse these bags responsibly.”
Photo credit: Maria B/@LCFinvestor (Twitter)