Animal welfare groups and the US military issued a joint condemnation last night, after the terrorist group Al-Qaeda claimed responsibility for killing Emperor the red stag, the biggest wild animal in Britain.
Contrary to reports suggesting that the animal had been bagged by trophy hunters, credence is now being given to a poor quality video, said to have been filmed in Afghanistan some weeks ago. The grainy footage depicts Osama bin Laden threatening the ‘Western World with a staggering outrage’, in what appears to be a hunting lodge adorned with the heads of other trophy kills, including Shergar, Bambi’s mother and Bungle from Rainbow.
‘This marks a change of tactics from Al-Qaeda,’ said Frank Gardner, the BBC’s security correspondent. ‘Instead of random bombings, it looks as if bin Laden has decided to target the nation’s beloved animals. Already, extra security has been placed around the Queen’s corgis and Shelley the Blue Peter tortoise. The Americans were going to send an armed militia to protect Paris Hilton’s Chihuahua, but later changed their strategy following the security report ‘Two Birds with One Stone’.’
The nation’s shooting lodges have reacted immediately to the threat with gamekeepers having to organise security patrols. At Sandringham, a spokesman for the Royal Estate echoed the thoughts of landowners everywhere. ‘We are appalled at the thought that these people think they can come over here and indiscriminately slaughter our wild animals and birds. That’s our job.’
But following bin Laden’s video, fears are already growing for a more audacious airborne attack on another famous cervidae, raising concerns that security has been compromised at a known airmail delivery service. ‘We will rain fire from the skies,’ screamed the extremist fanatic from beneath his new deerstalker. ‘The sky will turn red with the blood of our enemy. And his shiny red nose should tell us exactly where to find him.’