The Hartnoll Hotel, nine miles from where the stag was last seen, in the village of Bolham, Devon is displaying the head of the 9ft stag proudly on its wall and claims it is ‘on loan’ from an unnamed hunter.

The red deer was originally thought to have been hunted for its magnificent antlers, valued at up to £10,000, but a body was never found. The mystery surrounding the deer’s disappearance has intrigued many, with rumours and suspects touted in an unravelling story to rival the TV series Midsomer Murders.

Thought to be one of Britain’s largest wild animals, wildlife enthusiasts were distraught when news of the animals possible death by hunters.

“I’ve loaned it off of somebody who doesn’t want to be mentioned and he could well be the Emperor, yes.” hotel owner Claire Carter told The Daily Telegraph.

“I don’t think they want the aggro. There was obviously a lot of problems at the time. That’s all I can really say.”

The head has been on display for a month, attracting interest from local hunters. Whether it was shot legally by a licensed hunter is still a mystery.