Hunted in life and now in death – Corpus JCR’s newest addition, a £350 stag’s head, was stolen and presumed destroyed last Sunday morning by one or more members of the JCR, and the race is on to claim it back.
The JCR closed down after the discovery was made and will remain shut until the guilty party is found.
Known as “Douglas” to JCR members, the “slightly choice” ornamental stag’s head was purchased by JCR Treasurer James Pontifex as part a £10,000 renovation of the college bar, the Beer Cellar.
The JCR mandated Pontifex to spend this budget at his own discretion.
After college officials flagged up the stag’s head as a potential health and safety hazard, it was added to the college’s art collection and displayed in the JCR.
“It was up for over two weeks and I received absolutely no complaints”, said Pontifex. “It was displayed in a discreet corner of the JCR.”
As well as buying the stag’s head, Pontifex also used the money for items benefiting the whole JCR, including a magazine rack and blankets, but the stag was “the most shocking” and a “slightly choice” purchase, said JCR Environment and Ethics Rep, Ed McGovern.
McGovern said he was keen for the guilty party to come forward anonymously, so that “no one gets into trouble”.
In an email sent to the JCR hours after the theft, McGovern said: “College authorities don’t seem to be taking too kindly to the whole situation, and I doubt anybody wishes to jeopardise their academic career.
I can assure you the deer’s head will not be put back on public display without there having been a democratic discussion as to what to do,” he continued.
Opinion is divided over the identity of the taxidermy thief.
Ed Bradon, a third-year PPE-ist, said that no one officially knows who stole the stag.
“Regardless of what people think of the stag’s head, it was irresponsible to resort to an act of vandalism”, Bradon said.
McGovern said the culprit’s identity was “generally understood”.
“It’s a small college and people talk about these things”, he said.
Pontifex is certain he knows which member of the JCR took the deer’s head: “I know exactly who is responsible and I have a strong inclination to report them to the Dean/Police. They have criminally damaged £350 of JCR property.”
Pontifex said the “barbaric” theft left him “personally hugely saddened”.
“The vegan bastards who destroyed the head will purchase a replacement at their own expense. I hope this teaches them the futility of their actions and the naivety of their beliefs.
They chose to vandalise, steal and destroy JCR property instead of acting through the available channels. They are neither diplomatic nor rational”, Pontifex said.
It is not yet known what action Corpus officials will be taking in response to the theft.
It was left to second-year Jack Evans to deliver the stag’s epitaph. “He gave so much in life and death,” Evans said. “He was the people’s stag head. He will remain in hearts and minds forevermore.”