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A giant stag, Britain’s largest wild animal, has been shot dead for his antlers in the name of ‘sport’.

The 12-years-old red deer, named Emperor, was nine feet tall and is believed to have weighed 300 pounds.

Sadly, Emperor, who lived on Exmoor, in Southern England, is thought to have been shot by trophy hunters who had paid the landowner for shooting rights.

The killing came a few days after pictures of the stag appeared in a newspaper. Wildlife photographer Richard Austin told the Times he was angry the incredible beast been shot, saying he was sure Emperor was deliberately targeted.

There has been a public outcry over the slaughter and a call for wild red stags to be protected during the annual rut.

Deer expert Peter Donnelly said: "There are people who are prepared to spend quite ridiculous sums of money to have a trophy on their wall. People talk about paying £1,000 for a good head.

"It's a disgrace this magnificent animal has been shot at this time because it could be he didn't get to rut properly this year, therefore his genes have not been passed on this time."

Do trophy hunters need to get a life? Tell us what you think.

- Frankie Mullin


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