THE saga of the Exmoor Emperor continues this week as the mystery surrounding his death remains a national talking point.
The animal was thought to stand at 9ft tall and weigh 300lb, which some claimed made him the largest land animal in Britain.
Johnny Kingdom, the wildlife expert and television documentary maker, came forward as the witness who allegedly saw a man, believed to be a poacher, slit the dead stag’s throat before making a phone call.
Mr Kingdom, 72, who video recorded the magnificent animal in action, believes grainy pictures taken by an unnamed photographer who was with him at the time show the dead stag.
He said he broke his silence to stop ‘nonsense and half truths’ about the stag’s death spreading.
As speculation into who shot the emperor continue to grip the nation, bookmakers William Hill are taking bets on the nationality of the mystery marksman.
The favourite is British at 1/2 but American has been well supported and is offered at 4/1.
Hill’s spokesman Rupert Adams said: “We understand that a number of local farmers were told to get on the hotline should the Emperor stray onto their land.
“This would suggest that it was not a local and the early indications are that it could be an American.”
The iconic stag is now thought to have been dead since October 8 but his legacy looks likely to far outlive him.
This week brewer Exmoor Ales is dedicating the launch of its new ale Exmoor Dark to the stag.
The beer’s label features an image of an Exmoor stag.