Story By: Michael Leidig, Sub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Central European News
These images show a huge dog owned by a tourist tearing apart a young deer in front of horrified skiers at an Austrian resort.
The images show the deer already clearly badly wounded and bleeding from the dog’s attacks.
A video posted online by Facebook user ‘Michael Eisenkeil’ shows that despite the shouts of those nearby, the huge dog continues to tear at the deer, which is clearly so weakened by the long winter and attempting to escape from the dog that it lies down and is unable to defend itself.
It makes a halfhearted attempt on a couple of occasions to get further, but eventually gives up and accepts its fate.
At one point the dog appears to rip something from the deer which it then drops into the snow, and later pictures taken by the police show the white dog covered in blood.
The husky crossbreed had escaped from its owner on the Turracher Hohe ski pass which is on the border between the Austrian states of Styria and Carinthia.
Police who were called to the scene to rescue the animal say that the deer was so badly hurt that it had to be dispatched by a local hunter. The dog had to be driven off by the hunters before they could kill it after saying it was too badly injured to ever recover.
Police then used this snowmobile to follow the tracks of the dog which had fled and traced it back to its owner, a 26-year-old young woman from the Czech Republic. She said she had only wanted to let it off its lead for a short while, and it had suddenly run off.
The woman paid a 140-EUR (122-GBP) security deposit in order to allow herself and her doctor travel back home. The money was to cover the cost of a fine that she might eventually have to pay if she is charged for failing to keep her dog under control, but local council officials responsible for maintaining the wildlife could also make a civil claim against her for up to 1,000 EUR (876 GBP).
The video of the incident was published online by those standing nearby where it was widely shared. The head of the local Carinthian hunting Association, Bernhard Wadl, said the incident was a textbook example of what happens when dogs are set free in forested areas.
He said that last year there were 82 similar cases but very few ended up as graphically documented as this one.
He said: “Many dog owners do not believe that their beloved pet could be responsible of something like this. Yet the beloved family pet who is so affectionate back home is at the end of the day a wild animal when they get into the woodland and their instincts kick in.”
He said dog owners should remember to keep their animals on Leeds around forested areas where wildlife was living, and added that deer have little chance at this time of year after having been weakened by the winter weather to escape from dogs.
He also defended those who had not taken part in trying to defend the deer by saying the dog will defend its prize and will not give it up easily.
Picture Credit: CEN