Four years ago it was the magnificent stag, the Emperor of Exmoor which was killed and butchered.
Sunday, 31 October 2010 : Britain is now no country for old stags as well as old men :
Monarch of the New Forest who was shot, wounded and drowned.
He was 16 years old and met his ignominious end at the hands of bungling poachers in a suspected attempt to snatch his spectacular 16-point antlers, worth around £1,000.
He was badly wounded by a shot to the head by a low-calibre gun lacking the power to kill him instantly and which ricocheted off his huge skull. He is thought to have bolted in agony before drowning while seeking safety in a nearby lake.
The Monarch, who stood over 8ft from his hooves to the tip of his antlers and weighed around 25 stone, was so well known in the New Forest that gift shops had his picture on souvenir mugs, clocks and jewellery.
His body has now been fished out of the water and a spokesman for Hampshire Police confirmed that it was investigating a firearms offence. It is illegal to shoot privately-owned deer and those found guilty of doing so can face fines of £5,000 but this was clearly not a deterrent in the case of the Monarch.
He had been the biggest and the leader of a herd of 40 red deer owned by farmer Dan Tanner and kept at Burley Park near Ringwood, Hampshire where he was a popular sight on New Forest Deer Safari tours.
Yesterday 65 year old Dan said that poaching was still a real problem :
"Because The Monarch had such a fine set of antlers he would have been very attractive to poachers. They would have wanted his head as a trophy."
Dorothy Ireland, of the British Deer Society, said poachers have no feeling for animals they have either injured or shot.
2014 : Poachers in Africa killing old elephants for tusks and poachers in Britain killing old stags for antlers.