In the south-west London suburb of Teddington, a children’s football match was interrupted quite abruptly by deer. Two deer are said to have invaded an under-10 football match at Bushy Park Sports Club in Teddington on October 9.
Reports say stunned children were stopped in their tracks as the animals strutted towards them, with one animal jumping over a fence to enter the grounds. It happened at the height of the rutting season. According to Royal Parks website in the UK, Richmond and Bushy Parks are home to over 1,000 free-roaming red deer and fallow deer and during the rut behavioral and physical changes can be seen in both stags and bucks.
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The website warns that during rutting season, deer are flooded with testosterone and adrenaline, adding that “being hit by a deer traveling at full speed up to 30mph is like being mowed down by a motorcycle.” The website added: “Over the years there have been incidents where visitors have suffered injuries from rutting deer that could have been avoided. In 2018, a young girl who was pictured next to a rutting deer was injured in Bushy Park, and the year before a visitor was hospitalized after being injured by a male deer in Richmond Park.
On October 9, however, no one was injured. Apparently the deer wandered off into the trees after a few minutes and the kids were able to continue playing. Nicki Hudson, 46, who filmed the incident as her son and his team Epsom and Ewell Colts took on the Teddington Dragons, noted“There were two deer in the field. I was chatting with other parents at the side of the field and one of them called me to show me the first deer that I started filming. I also got to see the second deer which initially was behind a wooden fence and I didn’t think he would jump on it.
“Then very shortly after that he jumped over and ran across the pitch as the boys were halfway through the game,” she said. “We parents all stood still, but the quick-thinking referee called on the players to all stand together to the left of the deer. The deer was staring at all of us clearly, so much so that one of the mothers turned away from the deer to avoid eye contact! Shortly after, the deer started at a trot and left the field.
“Many children playing and spectators were amazed to see such an unusual sight,” said photographer Giedrius Stakauskas. Recount journalists. 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 500lbs – jumped a fence and ran over the ground.
According to Stakauskas, the deer caused some of the children to scream and run away. Both teams were reportedly forced to suspend play for around ten minutes while the animals roamed the field, before strutting through the trees, allowing them to resume play.