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BNPS.co.uk (01202 558833)<br />
Pic: RachelAdams/BNPS<br />
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Dan Tanner, owner of the herd pictured at Burley Park in the New Forest. <br />
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One of the biggest and best known stags in Britain has been shot dead by poachers desperate to get their hands on its prized antlers worth £1,000.<br />
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The huge 16-year-old red deer, known as The Monarch because of its regal stature, was gunned down on private land in the New Forest.<br />
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It is believed the Monarch was shot by poachers wanting to chop off his head and impressive 16-point antlers and mount it as a trophy.<br />
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The antlers alone are thought to be worth around £1,000.<br />
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Poachers fired at the enormous beast with a shotgun but the impact was not enough to kill it and it evaded its would-be captors.<br />
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But, mortally wounded, its lifeless body was found later floating in a lake where it is thought to have drowned.<br />
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The Monarch was so well known and revered in the New Forest that gift shops sell souvenirs  with pictures of him on it including mugs, clocks and jewellery.<br />
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His death comes three years after another huge red stag dubbed the Exmoor Emperor was shot dead by a hunter.<br />
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The Monarch was the biggest of a herd of 40 red deer owned by farmer Dan Tanner and kept at Burley Park near Ringwood, Hants.