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Deer bucks the odds, escapes French hunters

/ 01:02 AM September 23, 2020

PARIS — A large, exhausted stag escaped French hunters with the help of environmental activists after it sought refuge near a building site north of Paris, video footage showed.

The images showed the panting deer, its tongue out of its mouth, collapsing on a stretch of asphalt next to a construction project outside the city of Compiegne on Saturday, surrounded by hunting dogs, police and bystanders.

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In images released by antihunting group AVA on Monday, environmentalists are seen chasing away the dogs, after which the panicked deer gets up, crashes into metal fencing and then escapes back into the woods.

AVA spokesperson Stanislas Broniszewski said his group had been tracking a deer hunt on Saturday when they spotted the animal.

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“As more and more bystanders witnessed the scene, the hunters had to retreat and let the animal go. This kind of thing happens several times a week, but normally it remains hidden in the woods,” Broniszewski told Reuters.

Referendum on hunt ban

In July, AVA and other environmental organizations launched a bid to organize a national referendum to ban hunting with horses and hounds.

“They are setting 50 to 60 dogs free in nature to hunt wild animals. It is no longer acceptable to torture animals for hours like that,” Broniszewski said.

Hunting groups say the activity is legal and should not be interfered with.

‘Respect for nature’

“Hunting with hounds is about respect for nature, certainly not about these images, which are regrettable and which society today does not accept, which we understand. We are taking measures to make sure certain things evolve,” French hound hunting association head Pierre de Roualle said on BFM TV.

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TAGS: AVA, deer escaping French hunters, viral video
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