Stag desperately thrashes in water and drowns after hunter shoots it in Scotland

A video some viewers may find distressing shows hunters shooting a stag and watching it bleed out and apparently drown on a Highlands estate.

In the clip, a herd driven into the sea before a marksman picks off one of the animals from a tree line, Daily Record reports.

Thrashing around in the water, the stricken animal struggles for several minutes to keep its head above the water as it succumbs to its wounds, before sinking below the surface as the hunting party congratulates the shooter.

Police have launched an investigation into the shoot and are appealing for witnesses.

A Police Scotland spokeswoman told the title: "We are aware of the footage and are investigating the matter.

"At this time, we would ask anyone with information about the incident, such as when and exactly where it took place, to contact police on 101, quoting reference NP/2780/20."

The three-minute video shows a marksman with a rifle track the herd down a bank and into the sea off the west coast.

He fires a single shot and a bloody spray is clearly seen coming from a stag as the rest of the startled herd flee towards the shore.

One member of the hunting party says: "That’s it, good lad. He’s not going anywhere.

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"Do you want to give him another one?"

As the doomed creature struggles in the water and eventually sinks below the surface, he adds: "Well done, that’s him, fantastic.

"First time I’ve seen a deer been whacked crossing the sea."

The video sparked outrage after being posted online, with even a few people who said they were hunters themselves condemning the kill as "inhumane".

One commented: "I never feel bad taking a beast but watching the way that beast died I feel sick, not only taken the way it was, the poor thing filled its lungs with water while trying to exit up onto the bank."

Animal welfare campaigners also voiced concerns at the manner of the killing and the deer’s final moments.

The Daily Record has been told the kill took place in the last week on the Ardnamurchan Estate in Kilchoan, Acharacle.

Daily Record contacted Ardnamurchan Estate about the footage and a spokesperson said: "I’ve not seen it or read about it.

"All I know is it was nothing to do with Ardnamurchan Estate."

The shoot is said to have been carried out by West Highland Hunting group.

Daily Star Online has contacted West Highland Hunting for comment.

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