THE RSPCA were called out after a roe deer was attacked, presumably by a dog, at Smardale Nature Reserve near Kirkby Stephen recently.

Cumbria Wildlife Trust, which owns the nature reserve, was shocked by the incident and says all dog owners must ensure that dogs are kept under close control, to prevent such attacks on wildlife.

Andrew Walter, Reserves Officer at Cumbria Wildlife Trust said: “We received several calls from concerned members of the public reporting that there was an injured deer on our nature reserve. The injuries suggest that it was attacked by a dog.

"The wounds were serious and despite alerting the RSPCA, the deer didn’t survive.

"We welcome dog walkers on our nature reserves, as the vast majority of them are responsible, but as all dogs descend from the wolf they pose a real threat to wildlife, as this recent incident vividly shows.

"It’s also lambing time for many farms in the area, so extra vigilance is needed.”