'Shy' deer with sheep near homes in Lancashire

Red deer spotted in Blackburn

A red deer has been spotted grazing - less than three miles from Blackburn town centre.

Wildlife experts have said the sighting of the normally-shy deer so close to a built-up area is "extremely rare".

Local resident Steven Brindle spotted the creature next to some grazing sheep in a field in Mellor.

He dashed home, told his wife, grabbed the camera and they returned to take photographs of the deer which was just metres away from nearby homes.

James Ellaby, from the Wildlife Trust, said: "These animals don't usually venture into civilisation like that."

Mr Brindle, who had been on his way home from work when he spotted the nervous animal, said: "I thought it was a llama at first, but then I stopped and on closer inspection I realised it was red deer.

"Many say it is extremely unusual to see a deer in such circumstances, particularly this breed, but we've got the photographs to prove it."

Red deers are more commonly seen in the Silverdale area in north Lancashire or in the Forest of Bowland.

Mr Ellaby added: "We believe the deer probably strayed from its normal habitat elsewhere in the county.

"It's certainly an impressive sighting and a great photo."

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