Second deer in one week found dead in Clissold Park

Deers in Clissold Park. Photo credit Graham Turnbull... click to enlarge

Another female deer was found dead in Stoke Newingtons Clissold Park on Sunday (20 February), just a week after a doe was found in the same park, believed to have been killed by a dog. Six months previously a deer was fatally injured during a break-in. The doe was reportedly found at approximately 4:00 pm on Sunday.

Concerns have heightened since the £9m Heritage funded renovations began at the park a year ago, rendering the animals vulnerable to attacks from dogs, foxes and vandals.

Of the 48 Aviary birds only 10 are visible in their temporary enclosure which is a lorry container. The chickens are nowhere to be seen and last year, Hackney council alleged that foxes killed 4 rabbits.

Today Hackney council released a statement in response to the recent doe  death. Councillor Jonathan McShane, Cabinet Member for Community Services said: “I’m sorry to confirm that a female deer died in Clissold Park on Sunday. Sadly, this means we have lost two female deer in the space of a week.

“Once again, this is an extremely upsetting incident for everyone involved with Clissold Park and the deer. Although we are still awaiting the full results of the post mortem, there is no evidence to suggest the deer suffered any type of physical attack.

“We are working closely with Peter Green, our veterinary consultant, and expect his independent report at the end of this week. Inevitably, our discussions with Mr Green will involve consideration of whether we are able to keep deer in the park in the long term.”

The cramp and exposed enclosures at the park has led eminent deer vet, Dr John Fletcher who had treated the herd in 2007 with the RSPCA to confirm  the deers environment “unsuitable”  for deer. He added “The ground is degraded, there’s not much grass, they are constantly exposed to people”.

Last October Councillor Jonathan McShane issued a statement which included: “The deer in Clissold are much loved by local people. Their safety and wellbeing is taken very seriously by the Council we are confident that they will thrive and maintain their position as an integral part of an improved Clissold Park.”

A new local group, Clissold Park Zoo Watch, has been formed to protect the parks animals and an aim to get a herd of 8 fallow deer re-homed. They stated: “A private zoo would be subject to regular inspections by animal welfare officers but, as a local authority, Hackney polices itself and is answerable to no-one.”

Zoo Watch supporter Julia Mazza stated: “The Council allocates a £36k annual budget supposedly on the animal pens, when less than 14% of the zoo budget is spent on feed and vet bills. The rest goes on overheads the animals don’t incur and grossly inflated theoretical staff costs. In the financial year 2009/10 only £542 was spent on vet bills — for 70 animals and birds”.

A picket of Clissold Park is planned for 11am, Saturday 19 March.

Clissold Park Zoo Watch can be contacted at:

About Remi

Remi Hackney Hive founder, publisher and contributor. Hackneyite and all round Girl Friday, who couldn't wait to leave Hackney and London behind her. After hitching her wagon in California, Texas, New Orleans, Louisiana for 18 years, with a brief spell in Mexico, the prodigal daughter returned, happy to put an unconventional and risqué past behind her. She is owned by her two dogs Deffer(a Jack Russell & Darcy a Jack Russell/Pomeranian mix) and proprietor of London’s finest and long established pet sitting service. The big smoke is home for the moment, but she desperately yearns wide open spaces, where she hopes to call home in the near future.


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