(ANTIMEDIA) France — In an ironic twist of fate, a French hunter was gored to death this week by a cornered deer just days after outrage erupted over the “sadistic” way French hunters had killed a different deer.
Regis Levasseur, 62, was acting as a “beater” — someone who helps flush out and corner prey — when he was killed this week near Compiegne forest, about 50 miles northeast of Paris. Levasseur was not armed at the time.
“Normally the animal would flee, but this time he decided to charge,” Guy Harle, president of the local hunter’s federation, told France’s The Local. “It came after him.”
While the goring of a human being is certainly brutal, many feel it’s no less so than the way a deer met its end at the hands of hunters weeks before. From The Telegraph on Tuesday:
“French hunters with hounds have sparked widespread outrage after chasing a stag into a residential front garden before finishing off the exhausted animal while police looked on.
“Stag and deer hunting with hounds is flourishing in France, where — unlike in the UK — the tradition has until now faced little challenge from politicians or animal-rights activists.”
The problem with this particular hunt, however, was that the game was chased into Lacroix-Saint-Ouen, a village on the edge of the Compiegne forest. In another piece of irony, this was near the same forest where Regis Levasseur was killed this week.
The wild deer caused a commotion, and residents took to the street. Among them were anti-hunting activists, who were ready with their cameras. The footage of the October 21 hunt shows the exhausted animal sitting in the front yard of one of the homes as hunters climb over the garden fence to pursue it.
The November 6 article from The Telegraph explained what happens next:
“Armed police then move to prevent protesters approaching as the hunters shoot the stag (off camera) and drag off its carcass, cleaning up afterwards. They later reportedly let the dogs devour the carcass. The ceremony, known as ‘la curée’, is performed as a tribute to the prey and to reward the hounds.”
When the footage was uploaded, the public outcry prompted France’s environment minister, Nicolas Hulot, to condemn hound hunting as “a practice from another century” that “prolongs the agony” of the animal.
Eric Gaftarnik, the secretary general of France’s Society for the Protection of Animals (SPA), shared a similar sentiment with the Telegraph.
“To pursue an animal on horseback with dogs until it is exhausted and then kill it with a weapon for entertainment is a sadistic practice,” he said.
For Guy Harle, a hunting buddy of the late Levasseur, his friend’s death this week is proof the hunters who killed the deer were justified.
“Here we have the painful illustration of the danger that a wild animal can represent,” he told The Local.
Continuing, Harle asked society to ponder what could have been while somehow omitting the fact that nothing at all would have been had the hunters not chased the animal into Lacroix-Saint-Ouen in the first place:
“What would have happened at Lacroix-Saint-Ouen if the stag had charged around the neighborhood? This should serve as a lesson.”
There wasn’t much sympathy for that argument on Twitter, The Local reports, as many in France linked the Levasseur and the hound hunting stories together with the hashtag “#karma.”