Cambridge academic left with life-threatening injuries after freak stag attack

Kate Stone, who has a PhD in physics, was the victim of a "one-in-a-million" event in the Highlands

A woman has been seriously injured in a freak attack by a stag.

Kate Stone, a Cambridge University academic, was gored by the animal near Fort William in the Highlands in what has been described as a “one-in-a-million” incident.

The 44-year-old had to be airlifted to hospital in Glasgow and was treated in intensive care at Southern General Hospital, with injuries to her neck and spine caused by the stag’s antlers. She was later reported to be in a “serious but stable” condition.

The attack happened in the early hours of Monday 30 December, when Dr Stone and a group of friends were standing outside a private residence in Lochailort.

The Press and Journal reported that the stag appeared to single out Dr Stone who, standing at 6ft, was the tallest of the group.

The group were on a short break in the Highlands and were staying at the nearby Mo-Dhachaidh B&B, owned by Gary Burton.

Mr Burton said he heard about the attack when one of Dr Stone's friends returned at around 2.30am.

"I think what happened was that the stag panicked. It was trapped in a fenced garden having got through a gate. I don't think there was anywhere else to go and it charged out of the gate," he said. "It's very bizarre and very horrific."

The group was left shocked by the attack but managed to help Dr Stone and contact the emergency services, Mr Burton said.

He added: "The last I heard was late last night that Kate is still in intensive care."

"This is a one-in-a-million event which has shocked the whole community. We are at one with nature in Lochailort, and we have deer all around us. We are all hoping and praying that Kate pulls through.

"I don't pry into our guests personal lives but I had a conversation with Kate and I know she is a very outdoors person, and loves camping and walking. It would be a tragedy if she couldn't do that anymore."

Dr Stone has a PhD in physics and micro-electronics and is now a research engineer in Cambridge University’s Institute of Manufacturing.

It is feared that she could be left paralysed by the attack.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Front-End UI Application Developer

£30000 - £40000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Front-End UI Application ...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive

£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Service Engineers - Doncaster / Hull

£27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Domestic Service Only Engineers are requ...

Recruitment Genius: Employability / Recruitment Adviser

£23600 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Employability Service withi...

Day In a Page

Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...