There was consternation last night after the terrorist group, Al-Qaeda, apparently claimed responsibility for killing Emperor, 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, in which Osama bin Laden threatened the ‘Western World with a staggering outrage’. It is only now, following the disappearance of the stag in the West of England, that experts have put two and two together and realised that the terrorist leader had in fact been plotting the attack in Exmoor.
‘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 attack the nation’s game industry striking at the very heart of the upper echelons of British Society. No one could have seen this coming, unless, of course, they had noticed the deer stalker hat he had been wearing in the video.’
It is now believed that the stag was killed by a Taliban cell acting for Al-Qaeda. Noted poacher turned wildlife film maker Johnny Kingdom, recalls seeing some suspicious behaviour in a Devon country lane. ‘I saw a white van driving strangely,’ he said. ‘What aroused my suspicions was nothing to do with it being full of men with long beards wearing white tunics, but the fact that the van was being driven at a sensible speed and on the correct side of the road. Now that is very strange behaviour around here.’
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.’