Incredible pictures show a red deer stag appear to attack a man who it is claimed had been feeding the wild animals by hand in a British park.
Other pictures show the red deer dangerously close to children, despite warnings from authorities to stay well clear of the creatures who live in Richmond Park in the UK capital.
MyLondon reports claims from one observer that food was even thrown at the red deer, as many members of the public try to feed them by hand, it is claimed.
Richmond Park, in the south-west London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, is known as a spot for observing the majestic red deer and smaller fallow deer.
Red deer males – known as stags – can be unpredictable and aggressive if they feel threatened.
The Royal Parks Police have handed out over 1,000 warnings since July asking people to leave the animals alone.
The Royal Parks responded to the incident on Twitter saying: “Once again, we condemn this sort of behaviour in the strongest possible terms – when visiting the Parks with native wildlife, please refrain from approaching closer than 50 metres.
“In addition, feeding the deer does them harm, not good.”
Both park police and volunteer rangers patrol the Royal Parks to prevent people getting dangerously close to the native wildlife but volunteer rangers are not policing the park while lockdown is in place to help slow the spread of the disease.
The Royal Parks also said: “We do have pictorial signs asking people not to feed the deer and keep 50m.
“Whilst the majority of visitors behave respectfully around deer, a small minority ignore signs and get way too close.”
Wedding dress designer Charlotte Wilden took to social media to lament the actions of park goers.
Her twitter post read: “My friend took these pics on a long zoom lens today.
“People feeding the deer from their hands, then throwing food at the deer when the deer decided they’d had enough.
“So horrible to endanger the children in this way.”
Last month a baby deer was killed after being attacked by a dog.
Dogs are meant to be kept on leads in the park at all times.
Park rangers suggest keeping a 50 distance from the park’s deer and dog owners to keep their dogs under control as they may not see young deer hiding until it’s too late.
Richmond Park is a national nature reserve and deer park, where 630 red and fallow deer have roamed freely since 1637.
Fallow deer males are known as bucks – while red deers males are stags.
Autumn is the deer ‘rut’ – or breeding season – and the animals can be very aggressive and territorial.
Their young are born between May and July.
People are urged to keep at least 50 metres (164ft) away from the wild animals.