A MAJESTIC wild stag who was one of the natural stars of Cumbernauld’s green spaces has met a violent end – in the clearest sign yet that Cumbernauld is becoming a haven for poachers.
The News has learned that the carcass of the slain stag was discovered in the Dullatur area on Sunday morning by a horrified dog walker – in what is feared to be the latest example of poachers doing their worst in the town’s wooded areas.
In February we told how the carcass of a deer was discovered near Cumbernauld Community Park just months after another carcass was found at St Maurice’s Pond.
In a grisly move which horrified animal lovers, the animals had been trapped, killed and stripped for their meat.
There has been some suggestion that the killings are a means of meeting demand for contraband venison, which has sparked an investigation of butchers’ shops by trading standards officers from North Lanarkshire Council.
The latest incident has sent shockwaves through the area as locals try to come to terms with this barbaric act – amid claims that there has been suspicious activity in local woodland under cover of darkness.
Margaret Smillie who is secretary of Dullatur Community Council said: “There has been activity most nights this week and on several occasions I have been worken by noise from vehicles passing by in the early hours of the morning.
“I saw a white pick-up truck passing my house around 2am one night and it doesn’t belong to anyone in the immediate area.
“It is despicable.”
There have also been reports of residents being woken in the early hours of the morning by torchlights flashing across windows.
It is thought that some poachers use flashlights to ‘‘stun’’ their prey.Local environmental campaigners have also expressed their disgust at the wave of killings.
Adam Smith of Cumbernauld Environmental Group said: “The abundant woods and countless grassy areas in Cumbernauld form the perfect habitat for deer and make ideal landscapes for grazing and breeding.
“It is sickening that these timid animals are being hunted for their meat by mindless poachers who are just out to make a quick profit.”
His colleague Bobby Johnstone added: “Enough is enough. We have got to keep an eye out for anyone who is doing this and contact the police if we see anything suspicious,” he said.
A spokesperson for Cumbernauld Police confirmed that an investigation into the incident was ongoing.
Anyone with any information about poaching in Cumbernauld is asked to contact 503900.