This is the moment a wild deer slams into the side of a car after fleeing a fight with a competing stag.
The pair of rutting deer had got a little bit carried away when they locked antlers for a showdown in London‘s Richmond Park last Wednesday.
Video captured by a walker shows the stags, just metres away, coming together several times as they attempt to assert their dominance.
Completely unaware of their surroundings, the animals bring their battle closer and closer to a road where onlookers have gathered to watch the pair.
The more powerful male lands a series of blows to his weaker opponent, who is forced to retreat further backwards.
Sensing defeat, the deer decides to flee, but his path is blocked when he runs straight into the road and smashes into the side of a car.
Lander Esparza Zudaire captured the footage in the park last week while he was on a walk, and quickly found himself metres from a tense battle.
The pair of rutting deer had got a little bit carried away when they locked antlers for a showdown in London’s Richmond Park last Wednesday
Video captured by a walker shows the stags, just metres away, coming together several times as they attempt to assert their dominance
‘I thought I was safe keeping enough distance… but clearly I was wrong,’ he wrote on social.
Reacting to one of the deer running into the car, Lander said the animal seemed to be ‘isolated from the surroundings, just focused on fighting’ and hadn’t noticed the vehicle.
Autumn is rutting or breeding season for the 1000 free-roaming deer that live in the Royal Parks of Richmond-upon-Thames.
Sensing defeat, one of the deer decides to flee, but his path is blocked when he runs straight into the road and smashes into the side of a car
Between September and November, which is known as the ‘rut’, dominant stags compete to mate with the female deer by roaring at their rivals.
This can lead to a standoff between two males who may then lock horns to compete for a mate.
The Royal Parks have warned people that the animals are not ‘Disney creatures’ and advise keeping a safe distance of around 50 metres.
How to keep safe around stags during rutting season
The free-roaming deer in Richmond Park as well as Bushy Park on the other side of the River Thames are wild animals and can be unpredictable.
Sightseers and walkers need to be especially careful during both the rutting/mating season (September-November) and birthing season (May-July).
The Royal Parks advise people to keep at least 50 metres away from the deer at all times and not to attempt to touch, feed or photograph them at close range.
Dog walkers are warned that deer can feel threatened by dogs even over long distances when they are not behaving provocatively.
Park rangers advise keeping dog on a lead and avoiding areas where deers tend to congregate.
If a deer does charge at you, walkers are advised to let their dog off the lead, so the dog can run away from danger.
You should try to put a vehicle or a ‘substantial barrier’ like a tree between yourself and the deer.
If you find a deer advancing towards you, do not shout or wave at it. Back off slowly if possible, the deer may be satisfied you have left its personal zone.