A DOG walker has described how he witnessed golden retriever dogs maul a Muntjac deer in a tranquil country park.

The incident, in High Woods Country Park, Colchester, happened on the second of three occasions the dogs had been spotted racing around inamatter of days.

The witness, who the Gazette agreed not to name, said: “One day I was walking my dogs, pretty much at the same time I take them out, about 7.30am. A Muntjac crossed my path with a golden retriever in hot pursuit.

“It was just one dog on the first occasion. I was expecting someone to call the dog to stop it chasing.

"But I didn’t hear anything, which I thought was strange.

“It may have been the next morning I could hear screaming, which I thought was a Muntjac. I followed the noise. There were these two Golden Retriever-type dogs mauling the back of a Muntjac.

“I was shouting and swearing and off they went, but by then it was almost dead.”

The man reported what he’d witnessed to Gerard Oxford, Colchester councillor for Highwoods ward, who contacted staff at the park, which is run by Colchester Council.

Mr Oxford said: “The concern is these dogs hurtling around – if you have kids running around, they could get hurt.

“That is my worry. That information was provided to the country park and the council’s animal wardens and I believe the zone team or the police are going to try to apprehend the owner involved.”

Reports have been posted on Facebook, alongside claims the dogs had attacked other dogs.

A spokesman for Colchester Council said: “Contrary to social media in the last week, there has been just one reported incident regarding dogs at High Woods Country Park and it involved a Muntjac deer.

“We are unaware of the circumstances that led up to this incident and must stress no reports have been made about owners who have consciously let their dogs attack others.

“We maintain that High Woods Country Park is a safe open space for visitors, residents and pet owners.”