Reindeer at Christmas tree farm dies after being fed ‘sweets’ by visitors
A reindeer belonging to one of the UK's largest Christmas tree grower and supplier has died after it was fed "sweets and bread" by visitors.
Robert Morgan, has opened up about losing two-year-old Buddy the reindeer, who he reared after the animal had been orphaned.
He is the owner of Swansea's Fresh Christmas Trees and told WalesOnline his beloved pet died after a visitor to Poundffald Farm in Three Crosses, where his reindeer herd are located, had fed Buddy food that didn't work with his specialist diet.
The animal died a short time later, and Mr Morgan said his family "are devastated" that the reindeer, who "was such a joy to be around," had passed away.
Mr Morgan has since written a tribute to Buddy, and said his death serves as a reminder to visitors to read the signs and listen to advice given.
He said: "Sadly we lost Buddy at the weekend, he passed away Sunday morning.
"We are devastated at the farm as he was such a joy to be around and was a character, and after being orphaned, survived and was bottle fed from a calf.
"He has cheered us all up in his videos and he cheered up all who met him. He has personally been a great companion and saw my son and I as his family, as we looked after him from birth."
An autopsy revealed Buddy had been fed "sweets or bread," which Mr Morgan said was given by visitors at Halloween.
Mr Morgan said: "The autopsy showed he had been fed sweets or bread, which was given by visitors at Halloween sadly resulting in his death.
"He has a specialist diet like all animals. He's brought joy to many, but sadly has been inadvertently poisoned by people who yearn to see him.
"So please be mindful when visiting us, listen to what we say, read the signs, and respect our farm and reindeer."
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He added that food is available on site for visitors to buy and feed the reindeer, and Mr Morgan said any profits made "goes straight to the upkeep" of the animals.
Speaking to WalesOnline about the tragedy, Mr Morgan said: "I live and breathe my reindeer and I'm with them 365 days a year.
"It's a tragedy what's happened, and I need to be granted permission urgently for there to be a larger shed built to safeguard the whole herd.
"It's not a financial need, it's for the welfare of the reindeer.
"Buddy had a great life up until now and there were so many years up ahead of him."
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