Deer butchered at East Devon beauty spot

09:46 21 February 2012

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Poacher fears after family’s horror discovery

A FAMILY made a gruesome discovery at an East Devon beauty spot when they found a slaughtered pregnant deer.

Woodbury Common users from Sidmouth have been urged to report suspicious behaviour after it was revealed the doe was the second animal to be butchered within the space of a week.

Car mechanic John Amos, 47, was playing rugby with his four kids when they discovered poachers had struck near Woodbury Castle.

‘Outraged’ Mr Amos said it appeared the expectant doe had been deliberately decapitated and dismembered and her remains dumped close to a car park popular with families.

He said: “My kids were dumfounded. They were just devastated - to see that was outrageous. These poachers don’t give a toss. It was horrific.”

Mr Amos was with his animal-loving children Charris, eight, Harry, six, Max, four, and Louie, 20 months, when they found the decapitated deer in the grass.

He said the animal’s hide had been removed, and its entrails - complete with two pink miniature deer embryos nestled in the doe’s womb - and legs, were left strewn on the grass.

Mr Amos said the poacher had made ‘precision’ cuts, indicating they knew what they were doing.

Clinton Devon Estates’ commons warden, Bungy Williams, said the deer’s death had not been sanctioned.

He added the animal was the second slaughtered deer found within a week – one had also been discovered in the estuary car park.

On both occasions, the animal’s head and forelimbs had been dumped.

The warden urged those using the land to report any suspicious behaviour to the police and log any car registration numbers of suspect poachers.

He said he believed most of the poaching was carried out at night.

l Call police on 101, log number: 403 – 08/02/12.

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