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article imageGiant red stag 'Emperor of Exmoor' may still be alive

By Kev Hedges     Oct 28, 2010 in Environment
Tiverton - The giant red stag known as the 'Exmoor Emperor' was believed to have been shot three weeks ago in the wild countryside of Devon's Exmoor national park. However according to locals, he may still be alive.
On Monday Digital Journal reported the death of the UK's largest wild animal. He stood a majestic nine feet tall and was shot legally by trophy hunters. It had graced the Devon countryside for more than ten years.
Now it seems there is mystery and unanswered questions surrounding the shooting; namely, who shot the 'Emperor', where is the body and where exactly was it shot? Some locals have questioned the hunter who claimed to have shot the 135kg (300lb) beast. He, or she, has remained unnamed and anonymous and claims to have shot the stag in the location of the A361 Tiverton to Barnstaple road or, more specifically, near the village of Rackenford. But locals are saying the stag was never seen in that location, but instead spent its time a good ten miles north in the national park.
One local farmer said, "I smell a rat, without evidence anyone can say they shot anything. I could say I shot an elephant, and who's going to say no? There's someone I've spoken to who lives up on Exmoor who's certain he's still around."
Locals are growing tired of the constant media and reporters that are roaming around the area. One farmer, who wanted to remain anonymous responded to reports that an eyewitness saw the Emperor's head being loaded into a vehicle, she said: "If he was the Emperor, you can't load a set of antlers that size into a normal car. And what would you do with the body? Believe you me, if he was as big as they say he is supposed to be, it would take about six men to lift him. They wouldn't have needed a car, they wouldn't even have needed a pick-up, they would have needed a truck."
Clare O'Connor, a press officer at the Exmoor national park authority added to the mystery when she said, "The area hosts several other giant stags which to the untutored eye look quite similar". She also confirmed what the locals had been saying that the Emperor was generally seen within the bounds of the park rather than where he reportedly met his end.
More about Emporer exmoor, Alive, Red stag, Deer
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