The day I rescued a stag beetle

Some readers may remember that during lockdown, I wrote an article concerning the  large stag beetle grubs I discovered round the back of my shed? Well, it seems the stag beetle grubs have grown up now – well some of them have anyway. I discovered quite a few adults in our garden lately. Yesterday, I managed to rescue this handsome chap from the teeth and claws of next door’s cat…

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I carefully inspected him for damage. He seemed unharmed, albeit a tad grumpy. In fact he he stood up on his hind legs and waved his jaws about at me. Which wasn’t very nice considering I had just saved his life! 🙂 But he soon calmed down sufficiently for me to grab a few snaps.

He is quite a large example – roughly 60mm long. Having measured and photographed him, I carefully picked him up and placed him near the void beneath my shed, where I think some of his buddies live. At least it’s cat-proof! It took him a few of seconds to decide which section he wanted. Having made his choice he scuttled away into the darkness of the void…

I’d add that these amazing creatures have become incredibly rare. In some parts of Britain they are thought to be completely extinct. They are environmentally important because they help clear woodlands of decaying timber.

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